Taxi runs onto sidewalk in Chinatown

Chaos erupted on the streets of Chinatown late Tuesday afternoon after witnesses say a taxi drove on the sidewalk, forcing people to leap out of the way to avoid getting hit.

The accident happened around 4:50 p.m.

Witnesses say the taxi was headed northbound on 7th St. NW and was stuck behind a bus in a lane designated for buses.

According to a witness, the cab driver wanted to go around the bus and tried to force his way in when another car wouldn’t let him into the lane.

The taxi then appeared to lose control, went across two lanes of oncoming traffic and then drove on sidewalk for several hundred feet, taking out a railing and fire hydrant in the process.

"I kept waiting for him to stop, and the cab never stopped,” said Derek Lavin, who was on the sidewalk next to a woman when the cab driver lost control. “Next thing I know he's plowing through the hydrant, me and her jump out of the way, and she's running for her life."

“People just started scattering, started running around, just getting out of the way,” said Lawrence Morgan, who works at a bar near where the taxi entered the sidewalk.

Miraculously, only one woman was hurt – and her injury wasn’t from being hit by the taxi. Police say she was hurt while jumping out of the way. Her injuries did not appear serious.

Witnesses say the cab eventually veered off the sidewalk, again crossed lanes of oncoming traffic and blew through a red light at 7th and H Street. After traveling a short distance, he hit another car before coming to a stop.

A Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson says the cab driver has been charged with leaving after collision for not stopping after the first accident.

As of Tuesday night, his name hadn’t been made public.