A woman sustained minor injuries after striking four vehicles and crashing into the front of Dahlia Restaurant, the popular Mexican restaurant near Publix in Flagler Beach early this evening. No one else either in the parking lot or at Dahlia’s, which was serving patrons, was injured, though the front of the restaurant suffered some damage.
“The good news is, nobody other than the operator of the vehicle was injured,” Flagler Beach Police Chief Matt Doughney said. “In a case like that in a parking lot, sometimes there are injuries that can be extremely serious, especially when a vehicle goes into a building.”
The crash was reported at 6:22 this evening. The woman, whose name has not yet been released, had just been at either one of the restaurants or at Publix in the shopping center. Based on the preliminary investigation’s findings, she got into her car and “may have stepped on the gas instead of the brakes, hopped a curb and hit the front of the restaurant,” Doughney said.
Flagler Beach City Commissioner Rick Belhumeur was at the scene moments after the crash. “It looked like she blasted through the parking lot, hit a couple of cars if not three of them, then hit that van broadside and ended up in the storefront,” he said. “She was pretty much out of it, for whatever reason, I don’t know. She seemed very disoriented. They took her off on a stretcher.”
Flagler Beach Fire Department Captain Stephen Cox said the woman was taken to AdventHealth Palm Coast with non-life-threatening injuries.
“As far as the extent of damage, we did have the chief building inspector come out and inspect the structure,” Cox said. “According to the chief building inspector, the structure is structurally safe and sound, and the damage was directed towards the frame, a window and door frames there.” He added: “Dahlia’s is allowed to remain open and they’re open for business.”
The woman’s vehicle had struck two cars that were parked in a row in front of the restaurant before striking the work van, which took the brunt of the damage. “I spoke with the owner” at Dahlia’s, Doughney said, “none of his staff were injured and none of the patrons inside the restaurant were as well.”