Minivan slams into NE storefront, next to busy restaurant

Photo: Andy Zmidzinski/ABC7

A minivan ran into the front window of a storefront in Northeast on Sunday, narrowly missing pedestrians and a restaurant packed with people.

DC Fire and EMS responded shortly after noon to 3511 12th Street NE.

No serious injuries were reported, but the minivan hit very close to Murray & Paul's Restaurant next door.

Witnesses say the mini-van suddenly accelerated in reverse and slammed into the building. It narrowly missed several people on the sidewalk and came to a stop just feet from a group of diners.

The vehicle smashed through the front of an outreach office for the deaf. Apparently no one was inside at the time.

But it was a very close call for all the people at the diner right next door.

When those inside the restaurant heard the impact and the shattering glass some froze in fear, others bolted for the exit. Some feared the building could collapse.

"We were sitting, eating breakfast, and we just heard this deafening noise," says Chris Benedict, a tourist. "It sounded like the end of the world."

"The wall in the restaurant actually kind of like bowed out a little bit from the impact of the van," says Jon Eels, another tourist.

While fire and rescue workers secured the scene and struggled to get to the two people inside the mini-van, investigators tried to find out what caused the collision.

Less than 10 hours earlier, a man was fatally stabbed at The Library Bar & Grill across the street at 3514 12th St NE.