Customers and staff at the downtown Lismore Pie Cart were left reeling after an out-of-control car smashed into the outdoor eatery on Tuesday, injuring its 45-year-old driver and two young pedestrians.
Police say the driver of the car was apparently suffering a medical condition, and it is believe he had a seizure at the wheel. As a result his Ford Falcon sedan accelerated and lost control in Magellan Street before ploughing into a garden bed and colliding with two parked cars, a light pole, a tree and a dining table.
Scores of shoppers and passers-by descended on the scene during the busy lunch hour to help until police, ambulance and fire brigade crews arrived. Paramedics treated two boys aged eight and 13 who sustained minor injuries, before transporting them and the driver to Lismore Base Hospital.
A steel pole hit the eight-year-old boy while the 13-year-old was hit by debris from the impact. The driver and the two boys have since been discharged.
Lismore Pie Cart assistant Ben Bromley, 16, of Lismore, said he was just about to wipe down some tables when he heard a loud crash and saw the car become airborne.
He was flying he took a pole out, swiped a parked car, and hit a tree before ending up at the tables. The little fella nearly got taken out, said Ben. It was lucky no-one was killed. There were about 15 people sitting down at the time someone said the mother of the little fella who was injured pulled him out of the way.
A visibly shaken catering assistant at the pie cart, Shelley Lavelle, of Lismore, said people were running and screaming everywhere.
I was serving a pie to a customer and saw the car coming down straight towards us. We all screamed, it was the scariest moment, she said.
Dianne Georgiou of Wollongbar said she couldnt believe what she saw when she returned to her parked and damaged Honda CRV directly in front of the pie cart after shopping for a present with her young grand-daugher, Luca.
I was only gone for half an hour and nearly had a heart attack when I saw the damage to my car and was told what happened, Mrs Georgiou said.
Both the Honda, damaged after being swiped by the runaway Falcon, and the Falcon, which had extensive damage to its front end, were towed away after the accident.
Magellan Street was closed for two hours and the eatery was shut for the rest of the day.
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