A speeding car crashed into a building housing a soon-to-open restaurant in Patchogue on Thursday, leaving the driver and five construction workers injured, Suffolk County police said.
The 2015 Nissan Versa ran a red light at Ocean Avenue and Main Street at “a high rate of speed” at about 1:30 p.m. moments before slamming into the building at 1 West Main, police said.
Greg Wilson, 37, of Centereach, said he was walking down Main Street with his daughter when he saw the Nissan zoom past at roughly 60 mph.
“It went by so quick,” he said. “The next thing I knew, I heard a big bang.”
Wilson said he and another man ran to the burning car, pried the door open and pulled out the driver. Two other people doused the flames with fire extinguishers, he said.
“My instincts just kicked in,” Wilson said. “Thank God the other workers weren’t seriously hurt.”
The unidentified driver was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he was being treated Thursday night for “serious, but non-life-threatening injuries,” police said.
The construction workers were treated at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital for minor injuries and released, police said.
The damage to the building was a setback for a planned Arooga’s Grille House franchise. An early August opening had been planned for the restaurant, according to owner Joseph Alagma, 52, of Sands Point.
He said a large portion of the restaurant’s bar area was damaged, he said.
It was not immediately clear why the driver lost control of the car, police said. Fifth Squad detectives are investigating.