POTOMAC, Md. (WJLA) - For the second time this year, a car slammed into the Hunter's Inn restaurant, sending six people to the hospital. The incident marks the third time overall that a vehicle has driven into the establishment, prompting its owners to make some safety changes.
Around 1 p.m. Saturday, lunchtime was interrupted when an elderly woman who had just left the restaurant barreled through its glass façade in her Honda.
"I said, 'My God, oh no,'" customer Fari Asatouriann said.
"I heard this tremendous noise, sounded like an earthquake," said Owner Murray Berman. "First I thought the roof was coming down."
Police say the 80-year-old driver apparently hit the accelerator instead of the brake.
"It jumped the curb, came through the fence and just kept coming," Berman said.
The unintentional drive-in shattered glass, sent tables and condiments flying, and left customers scrambling.
"Some of them got scattered," Berman said. "One of them got hurt a little bitscratches, bruised skin, nothing serious."
The July 12 accident is the third time a car has plowed into the Hunter's Inn; a Cadillac barreled into the restaurant 15 years ago, as did another car in March of this year.
"It was shocking, it was really shocking," Asatouriann said. "You are concerned about the safety of the people, people coming here."
"My sitting here three hours later is proof that the Hunter's Inn customers are very loyal," another customer said.
But after this third crash, the owners and landlord are talking about installing metal safety pillars outside the restaurant in August.
"Like round tubes or planters with steel inside of them, so that they'll stop a car," Berman said.
Meanwhile, there's hope that drivers in the area will keep safety on their menus.
"People need to pay attention and know what they're doing," Berman said.
The driver and five other people were sent to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.