A typically tranquil scene with food and a beach backdrop became a chaotic scene of people rushing for safety as an out-of-control car rammed into a Pass-A-Grille restaurant's patio Saturday evening.
The car, driven by Kenneth F. Hearn of St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, pinned a man in front of The Hurricane Seafood Restaurant. Hearn, 56, was arrested Sunday on a charge of driving under the influence during a crash with injuries. He was released from the Pinellas County Jail this morning after posting $500 bail.
Hearn was trying to park his car when he lost control, sending it onto the patio, according to restaurant manager Rick Falkenstein.
Six to eight men rushed to the car, picking it up enough to pull the victim to safety. Moments later, three nurses and a doctor came to the man's aid. Paramedics also treated the man.
An employee pulled a mother and her 4-year-old daughter, who had been eating nearby, out of the way just before the car crashed into the patio.
Most Saturdays the sidewalk in front of the restaurant is crammed with tourists and locals grabbing a bite to eat while taking in the beach scenery. Falkenstein is thankful that wasn't the case Saturday night.
"By the grace of God, normally there's a lot of people on the sidewalk," Falkenstein said. "No one was on the sidewalk or we would have had fatalities."