4 Vancouver officers injured as car crashes into restaurant
Driver was not impaired, but may have been distracted, say police
Four Vancouver police officers were rushed to hospital Sunday night after a woman crashed her BMW through the front window of a downtown burger joint where they were eating.
Witnesses say the woman was driving down Denman Street around 8 p.m. PT when she allegedly swerved off the road, onto the sidewalk, and into the Fatburger restaurant's front window.
The four uniformed officers, who were eating dinner inside, were struck by the car and crash debris.
Off-duty Nurse Rohangiz Azizi saw the crash and rushed to help the injured police officers.
"I saw it hit. The building was shaking. My focus was just to go take care of the injured," said Azizi, who ended up helping one of the injured officers.
"He was shaking and I checked the pulse and vital signs. It was not normal, it was shaking."
The officers were rushed to hospital in serious, but not life-threatening, condition, with broken bones, including at least one broken leg and ankle.
One officer had difficulty breathing after the crash, according to police spokesman Const. Brian Montague
After being treated, all four were released on Monday morning and were recovering at home, Montague later said in a tweet.
Montague said the driver did not appear injured, but was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
Impaired driving not suspected
The cause of the crash is still under investigation, but the driver did not appear impaired, said Montague.
"It doesn't look like alcohol is a factor at this point — something we'll look into, but early indications are that that's not the case," said Montague.
Police confiscated the woman's phone as part of the investigation, according to reports.
"Is this a case of her simply missing a turn? Is this a case of distracted driving? Those are things that we'll look at," said Montague.
"We don't really know why this occurred. Our collision investigation team is here to try and determine that."
"A witness advised us that she was driving south on Denman when she just abruptly made a turn into the restaurant."
The officers ranged in service from one to 10 years. The department was in the process of informing their families on Sunday evening.
"The chief's been notified of their injuries, and we're hoping for a speedy recovery of course," said Montague.
"Lets keep them all in our thoughts tonight," read a tweet from the official VPD account.
The Fatburger restaurant is located on Denman Street near Davie Street.
Police are looking for witnesses and ask anyone with information to approach an officer or call 604-717-3321.
- An earlier version of this story stated the driver was injured, but later it was revealed she was taken to the hospital as a precaution.Nov 03, 2013 10:19 PM PT