DES PLAINES, Ill. (WLS) — Two people were killed when a vehicle crashed into a building in suburban Des Plaines Sunday.
Police said around 2:15 p.m., the driver of that SUV somehow the left the roadway and hit two people who later died.
“It was truly frightening,” said Benjamin Tate, who witnessed the crash.
Witnesses said they ran for safety as the driver seemed to have lost control of the vehicle.
“I’m on the sidewalk walking, and I see the car swerving in. I started running a little bit. I was a little scared. They crashed, and then my heart drops,” Tate recalled.
Police said a 71-year-old man was behind the wheel of a Honda SUV that was driving westbound on Northwest Highway in Des Plaines when the crash happened.
A 42-year-old woman and an 80-year-old man were hit. Both were taken to the hospital, where they later died.
“It’s unfortunate. It’s one of those things that, as responders, we have to kind of come and try to do the best we can. And, our personnel were out there. They did the best they could to give them a chance,” said Deputy Chief Matt Matzl, with the Des Plaines Fire Department.
The force of the impact shattered the windows of a restaurant next door and ruptured a gas line, forcing neighboring businesses to evacuate for some time while NICOR crews worked to secure the area.
The gas has since been shut off, Matzl said.
Investigators said the driver, who was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, was traveling with two minors – a girl and a boy. The children were not hurt.
Police are now investigating what happened to cause the deadly crash.
Police said, as of now, there is no evidence that alcohol or drugs played a role in this crash. They plan to release more information once the investigation is completed.