Md. sheriff's sergeant avoids close call, jumps into action after car slams into restaurant

A Prince George's County sheriff's sergeant was just inches away from a car that slammed into the tavern where she was ordering lunch.

Surveillance video shows the heart-stopping moment the car crashed into Babes Boys Tavern in Upper Marlboro Tuesday, sending debris flying and injuring nine people.

The video shows the car smashing into the wall directly behind where Sgt. Christine Wiseman was sitting.

"I think it hit my chair because I was leaning forward talking to the waitress," Wiseman told FOX 5. "It didn't hit me."

Before the smoke even cleared, her instincts kicked in and she rushed to help those who were hurt.

"I could see a man trapped under the front of the car, under a table," she said. "I told the waitress to get everybody outside and to dial 911. Myself and some other county police officers and other patrons started throwing debris off of the man."

After they got that man to safety, Wiseman checked on the woman driving the car, who was fine. She then went to help a man knocked unconscious near the bar.

"I was holding gauze on his head to keep the bleeding down and that is when the EMTs arrived on scene," said Wiseman.

By then, her husband, Prince George's County Fire Captain John Wiseman, had arrived as well. The couple was meeting for lunch, and initially, John couldn't find his wife in the wreckage.

"I didn't see her in there," he said. "I looked under the car and she wasn't there so I hopped over the bar to get around to the other side of the car and found her knelt down next to the unconscious man treating him."

The man she was helping and six others were hospitalized, but everyone is expected to be okay, according to fire officials.

After it was all over, someone snapped a photo of the Wisemans looking at the damage. They realize a few inches could have changed this story completely.

"The chair is gone from where she was sitting and the hole in the wall is right next to table," said John. "So it was just super lucky."

"I just feel very blessed," Christine said. "So that is just kind of the feeling that I have had since the incident."

The woman driving the car told FOX 5 her brakes failed.

"My brakes went out, I was probably going 25 miles per hour, and I came over this little hump and there were cars all over, so I kind of panicked and my car went through there," Vernelle Robinson said Tuesday as she pointed to the restaurant. "My brakes went out totally."

The owner of the restaurant disputed Robinson's claims that she was only going 25 miles per hour, noting that she ran through metal barricades, an air conditioning unit and the cinder block wall.

Police said Thursday that the crash remains under investigation and it is still unclear if the driver will face any charges.