TYSONS CORNER, Va. - Four people were injured after witnesses said a man rammed his SUV repeatedly into a Silver Diner restaurant in Tysons Corner. But quick action by employees put an end to the terrifying scene.
In just seconds, workers at the restaurant rushed to try and stop the driver of the Hummer.
“All of a sudden, this guy just whammed into the building,” said Janey Watkins.
On three attempts, the driver tried slamming through the front door. Watkins captured it on her cellphone, which showed a customer receiving CPR after being pinned between the car and the building.
“I started doing compressions and he coughed and said ‘Oh!’ for me [while] doing the compressions on him,” said Rashelle White. “And then I could hear his daughter say, ‘Okay, he’s responsive now.’”
Videos and photos posted on social media shows thick smoke and flames shooting out of the front of the restaurant after the Hummer crashed into the building.
Silver Diner confirmed the man allegedly behind the wheel was a cook at the restaurant and had been out on bereavement leave for nearly a month.
“He was fighting,” said Watkins. “He said, ‘Get away from me. Leave me alone. Leave me alone.’”
Workers brought out a knife and cut his seat belt loose before dragging the driver out of the burning car.
In a statement, Silver Diner said, "We understand that a Silver Diner employee drove through the front of Silver Diner Tysons restaurant this afternoon. We are shocked and saddened by the incident. We had no indication that the employee would harm himself or others. Four people were injured - one treated on site, three transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of those injured. The company is providing counselors for employees and customers. Customers wishing to speak with a trauma counselor should call 703-239-3324 for more information."
Silver Diner co-founder Ype Von Hengst was sitting at their Bethesda, Maryland location when he received the call about the incident.
"Shocking,” he said. “When I saw it, I was ready to burst out in tears because I saw my manager trying to get the person out of the car who did the damage.”
After Wednesday’s incident, the employee believed to be behind the wheel was fired.
"We never had an incident like this and we hope it will never happen again, and I don't think we could have have done anything to avoid this,” said Von Hengst.
All of the people injured in the incident suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Silver Diner is hoping to get back to business for Mother's Day, but they said Monday or Tuesday of next week is a more realistic time period to open back up.