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Seven injured after van smashes through Midtown outdoor dining area and scaffold

Six people were injured when a van smashed into a scaffold and an outdoor dining area in Midtown on the morning of March 5, 2021.
Photo by Dean Moses

Seven people suffered injuries after a van crashed into an outdoor dining space on a Midtown street Friday morning, Fire Department sources said.

According to the FDNY, the incident happened at about 8:37 a.m. on March 5 at the corner of 2nd Avenue and East 50th Street. 

Published reports indicated that the van smashed through the seating area of a Starbucks coffee shop as well as a nearby scaffold and a bus stop. 

Juan Carlos and Eloy Crisbey were crossing the street when they saw a white car, which they believe must have lost the ability to brake and rammed into another vehicle, narrowly missing the two men.

They say if it wasn’t for the car it hit, the vehicle would have slammed into them.

“I was waiting for the light, and the car blocked it,” Carlos said. He also noted that there were children crossing the street at the same time, but he says weren’t injured.

Photo by Dean Moses
Photo by Dean Moses
Photo by Dean Moses

Another witness, who identified himself as Tony, was on break when he witnessed the accident.

“It happened so fast. The van hit this car right here and the car turned around and knocked all of this stuff down,” said Tony, who believes the van was fast, he says driving about 50mph.

“It happened so quick, I just tried to move out of the way and be safe for myself,” Tony said.

Joseph Akim, a worker at Blank Slate Coffee, located across the street from the Starbucks, said he saw the van speeding by as well as a sedan spinning out on the corner.

“It was just very surreal looking out and seeing all of the seats in the middle of the street,” he said, referring to the pulverized Starbucks outdoor seating area. Akim said he didn’t see anyone injured, but plenty of bystanders in shock.

The victims were taken to local hospitals for treatment of injuries that were not considered life-threatening, Fire Department sources said.

The investigation is ongoing. 

This is a developing story; check with amNY.com later for further updates.

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