Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Car crashes into Hurricane Restaurant in Pass-a-Grille, injures diner

ST. PETE BEACH — The driver of a car pulling into a curbside parking space plowed into the patio area of the iconic Hurricane Restaurant in Pass-a-Grille Saturday, pinning a diner.

Witnesses said several patrons on the patio immediately rushed to the car and lifted it enough to pull the man from underneath the Ford sedan.

"Everybody just reacted," said Mike Kirbry, 46, of St. Petersburg.

The man, who was eating with a woman on the outside dining area, was rushed to Bayfront Medical Center, St. Pete Beach police said.

No information was immediately available about his identity or condition.

St. Pete Beach police Sgt. Ray Anthony said the driver of the vehicle, also not identified, was pulling one of the diagonal parking spots on Gulf Boulevard when the car suddenly accelerated.

"We assume he hit the gas instead of the brakes," Sgt. Anthony said.

Jo Brooks, 54, of St. Petersburg said she was just a few feet away when the accident occurred. Nearby, another family sat with a young toddler in a high chair. She spotted the driver pulling into the parking space.

"He didn't stop," Brooks said. "I heard the engine getting louder, like it was accelerating."

Witnesses say both the man and his companion were sitting at one of the picnic tables located outside the Hurricane with their backs to the street.

The car passed over the curb and the wooden patio railing before hitting the man.

The woman he was with appeared to have seen the car coming, witnesses said, and managed to get herself out of the way.

When the vehicle stopped, "her rear was sitting on the hood of the car," Kirby said.

The man was pushed forcefully on top of the picnic table, which collapsed. His legs were trapped beneath the bench and he was bleeding from the head.

"It's taken me all this time for my heart to stop beating so fast," said Brooks, who added that the driver of the car, which had a female passenger, appeared distraught.

The Hurricane is a three-story restaurant overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. It's known for its grouper sandwiches, relaxed atmosphere and great sunset views from the third story patio.

It opened in 1977.

Car crashes into Hurricane Restaurant in Pass-a-Grille, injures diner 06/02/12 [Last modified: Saturday, June 2, 2012 11:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Study: Tampa Bay a top market for homebuyers on the move

    Real Estate

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, ATTOM Data Solutions says.

    The Tampa Bay area is among the top markets for homebuyers who are likely to move in the next few months, a survey found.
[Associated Press file photo]
  2. Tampa lawyer Fred Ridley to be new chairman of Augusta National, Masters' home (w/ video)

    Golf

    AUGUSTA, Ga. — Fred Ridley first came to Augusta National to compete in the 1976 Masters as the U.S. Amateur champion, and he played the opening round in the traditional pairing with the defending champion, Jack Nicklaus.

  3. Rays send down Chase Whitley, Andrew Kittredge; add Chih-Wei Hu, acitvate Alex Cobb

    Blogs

    After having to cover more than five innings following a short start by Austin Pruitt, the Rays shuffled their bullpen following Wednesday's game, sending down RHPs Chase Whitley and Andrew Kittredge,

    The Kittredge move was expected, as he was summoned to add depth to the pen Wednesday in advance of RHP Alex …

  4. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred moves closer to wanting a decision on Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred called Wednesday for urgency from Tampa Bay area government leaders to prioritize and move quicker on plans for a new Rays stadium.

    MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred talks with reporters at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
  5. Six home runs doom Rays in loss to Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — A curve that didn't bounce was the difference Wednesday as the Rays lost 7-6 to the Blue Jays in front of 8,264, the smallest Tropicana field crowd since Sept. 5, 2006.

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (11) greets center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) at the plate after his two run home run in the third inning of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.