SUV Hits 3 People After Crashing Into Restaurant Patio in Long Beach

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Four people were injured, with one woman was trapped under an SUV, after the vehicle crashed into a restaurant patio in Long Beach on Thursday, according to the Long Beach Fire Department.

Long Beach police officers were called to the scene of a collision around 3:36 p.m. at Los Potros Restaurant in the 1900 block of Pacific Coast Highway.

There, they discovered that a silver Dodge Durango left the roadway, hit a palm tree and crashed into the restaurant patio where patrons were seated, according to the Long Beach Police Department.

One woman and two men were hit by the vehicle and transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the Fire Department. The 50-year-old driver may have suffered a medical emergency prior to the collision and was transported to the hospital in critical condition, officials said.

"We had three individuals that were actually struck by that vehicle," said Jake Heflin with the Long Beach Fire Department. "We had an approximately 40-year-old female that was ordering food at the window and we had two other individuals, a 18-year-old male and a 30-year-old male, that were sitting at a table, eating, at the time of the accident."

All three people were stuck under the SUV but the two men were able to crawl out, officials said. The woman was trapped for an undetermined amount of time.

Witnesses at a nearby tire service business told KTLA that they could her the woman's screams.

"You heard the crash and the people screaming, saying 'help,' and then you heard her yell over everybody," said Daniel Vergara, an employee at Guadalara Tires. "She was saying, 'Help me, please help me, get this car off of me.' She was like, 'It's burning me, it's burning me.'"

Adrian Grimaldo told KTLA he raced into the tire shop, grabbed a car jack and worked with fellow employees to try to lift the SUV off the woman.

The group was able to assist but couldn't fully lift the vehicle, according to Vergara.

"Even though we were lifting up the car, it was tilting more of the weight onto her," said Vergara. "We were mainly just focused on getting her, and the other guy and the driver out safely."

The driver and the woman were the most critically injured, Heflin said.

Westbound Pacific Coast Highway between Cherry Avenue and Gardenia Avenue was closed amid an investigation.