JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police have charged the driver of an SUV after they said he plowed into a Jersey City Dunkin’ Donuts Monday night, injuring several people.
Marco Guardiola, 55, has been charged with DUI, driving without a license, registration or insurance and eight counts of motor vehicular assault, CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang reported.
Police said Guardiola was speeding when he tried to turn from Central Avenue onto Griffith Street and crashed into the Dunkin’ Donuts at around 8:45 p.m. on Monday. He reportedly told the judge he was an alcoholic who needs help and that he had passed out behind the wheel when his vehicle hit the store at 40 mph.
“I looked at him and I thought maybe he’s drunk,” victim Lachem Aouzal told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.
Aouzal came home from the hospital Tuesday morning with stitches to his head, two chipped teeth, and bruises from the horrifying incident.
“Suddenly an SUV coming straight to me. I feel like I was dreaming. I was really shocked,” he said.
Sonia Roman said she was in the store getting a cup of coffee at the time of the crash. She was one of eight people injured and spent the night in the hospital, treated for shards in her face and a swollen leg.
“I thought that was it for me,” Roman said. “Not only me, but the other people. I thought, ‘That’s it.’ I still haven’t slept, I’m still awake. I see the vehicle, I see the glass, I see everything now.”
A witness said chaos ensued right when the SUV plowed into the front of the store.
“You could hear the screams two blocks down. Everybody just ran up. You heard a bang and that was it,” Raquel Lopez told Jiang.
Seconds after the crash, neighbors rushed to the scene where they found a mother of two daughters badly hurt, CBS 2’s Hennessey reported.
“The little girl is on top of the mother, the other one is gloshing a lot of blood out and the little girl is telling the mother ‘Mommy wake up. Don’t die, wake up, wake up, wake up!'” witness Silvia Garcia said.
Nearby was the woman’s teen daughter who had severe head wounds.
“Her cheek was completely open and her arm. I took a lot of tissues and told them, put pressure, we got to stop the bleeding,” Maria Roman said.
The teen was upgraded Tuesday to serious but stable condition after undergoing surgery at the hospital. At least three others who were hurt are recovering at the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said.
The Dunkin’ Donuts was able to reopen Tuesday morning.
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