14 injured, four critically, after car crashes at Arlington building

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Fourteen people were injured, four of them critically, Friday night when a vehicle crashed into a building in the Court House area of ​​Arlington, police said.

The accident happened with a high boom around 6:45 p.m. in the 2000 block of busy Wilson Boulevard when the vehicle drove through the front of a tavern, according to authorities and witnesses.

In addition to the critically injured at the Irish pub Four Courts, four others were taken to hospitals in non-life-threatening conditions, police said. According to the police, six other people were treated at the scene.

The accident ignited a fire, which was extinguished. Video circulating on social media showed people rushing away as flames shot from the front of the pub, Ireland’s Four Courts.

About 30 people were in the red-fronted pub, both patrons and staff, when server Mary Reilly heard what she described as a loud boom.

“We just heard this massive bang,” she said. She was in a part of the pub away from the crash and didn’t see it. But she saw the immediate aftermath.

That included “dust and just dirt that came out,” she said.

When “sheer panic broke out,” she said, people rushed out the back.

Everyone was shouting, ‘Get out, get out, get behind, get behind.’

Another witness to the immediate aftermath appeared shaken.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” the person said. “It was like a bloodbath.”

Witnesses reported that a group of people at a table were among the worst injured. According to reports from people at the scene, bystanders helped rescue the injured from the wreckage.

The cause of the accident could not be immediately determined. Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage did not release any details about it. However, she said the driver was one of those who was taken to a hospital. The type of vehicle was not disclosed. It appeared to remain inside the building Friday night.

Nancy Donnella, who said she co-owns the building where the crash happened, said she was told by police and others at the scene that the crash happened head-on.

The building is at the intersection of Wilson Boulevard and Courthouse Road; Courthouse cuts Wilson at a right angle. Donnella said she was told the vehicle had apparently been northbound on the courthouse and “just drove right into it.”

That account could not be independently confirmed by police.

Savage said the building remained structurally sound. However, it was not clear when it would reopen.

Wilson Boulevard is a major east-west thoroughfare in Arlington and is lined with high-rise office buildings and is also a main center for nightlife with many restaurants and taverns.

In a similar incident earlier this year in the District, two women died and at least nine other people were injured when the driver of a small SUV plowed into patrons outside a restaurant along Connecticut Avenue NW during lunch, according to D.C. police and fire officials.

This development story has been updated.

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