MAMARONECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A 79-year-old driver is facing charges after police said nine people were hurt when a car crashed into a crowded restaurant in Westchester County.
It happened at Enzo’s, a popular eatery on Mamaroneck Avenue, at around 7:45 p.m. on Sunday. Police said the crash left four of the injured in critical condition, ages 81, 77, 74 and 66. Eight of the victims were taken to area hospitals, while one person was treated at the scene.
Mamaroneck police charged the driver, Roseanne Cassano, with DWI. CBS2’s Tony Aiello has learned she ate at the restaurant just before the crash. Afterwards, she refused a voluntary blood-alcohol test, forcing police to get a court order.
Surveillance video shows Cassano was with another woman. They got into the car, parked in a handicapped spot and sat inside without moving for about seven minutes, before the vehicle started to back up. It then clipped another car before accelerating into the restaurant.
The suspect’s age surprised some but not Mamaroneck Mayor Tom Murphy.
“Well, you know, DWI has no age limits,” Murphy said.
Cassano was released on bail and is due in court on Thursday.
More than 40 first responders rushed the scene to tend to the multiple injured.
“It was surreal. It looked like it was not a restaurant anymore but like a garage. Like someone had neatly parked their car inside the garage,” Murphy told CBS2’s Aiello.
Murphy was across the street when it happened. So was Greg Spagna.
“I think everybody was stunned,” Spagna told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell. “Somehow it spun around and it went backwards into the restaurant injuring those poor people.”
“Oh man, and we usually sit in the front of that window. Oh, I feel so bad,” Harrison resident Linda Anderson added.
Rene Jiminez’s girlfriend works at Enzo’s. He said none of her co-workers were hurt.
“Fortunately, she wasn’t working because you never know,” he said.
Spagna, whose car narrowly missed being hit, said it’s remarkable no one was killed. He said his thoughts are with those who were injured and the restaurant’s owners, who are beloved in the community.
“In an instant, it changes your life,” he said.
Cassano was released on bail and is due back in court on May 10.