McHENRY, Ill. (CBS) — Five people were injured, two of them critically, when a full-size pickup slammed into a Starbucks store in McHenry, causing the building to collapse. The injured included occupants of the vehicle and people inside the store, police said.
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, the pickup truck remained at the scene as late as 10 p.m. Crews could not move it because it was sitting on a gas line.
That fact raised the level of concern for not just the Starbucks, but other businesses along the stretch. Nicor gas was on the scene.
McHenry Police spokesman Patrick Polidori said around 4:40 p.m., a Dodge Ram pickup truck was traveling westbound on West Elm Street when for an as yet unknown reason, its driver lost control, went airborne, and slammed into the building.
— Chase (@chase_cco) January 16, 2020
The pickup truck left the roadway east of the intersection of Elm Street and Oak Drive, McHenry police said. The vehicle continued west and first hit a car that was in the drive-thru at the Starbucks at the northeast corner of the intersection, then into the vehicle itself, police said.
“He nearly missed the light pole, and he knocked the speed limit sign, and he just basically hopped over in midair damaged the building,” said witness Brandon Chaple.
The driver of the white sport-utility vehicle that was in the drive-thru could only brace for impact.
“It sounded like a big boom; honestly like an airplane hit it,” Chaple said. “A lot of people just stood there and stopped. Their hearts stopped, and just basically just couldn’t believe it.”
Video posted on social media showed a major response from police and fire.
4305 W Elm St
Vehicle into a Starbucks.
Command requesting a 3rd alarm EMS Box, Helo requested. Collapse response due.
— ICERN (@ICERN_ALERT) January 16, 2020
Four of the patients were taken to North Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital and one of the four was subsequently moved to Advocate Condell Hospital in Libertyville. The patient at Condell was reported to be in critical condition, while the other three were in fair condition, police said.
“I saw two people come out in stretchers,” Chaple said.
The video posted on Twitter shows the pickup truck buried in debris from the building.
The McHenry Township Fire Protection District and several neighboring fire departments came to the scene, and fire and rescue crews did get one person out from under a vehicle, police said.
Route 120 was closed between Meadow and Crystal Lake Road following the crash and was expected to remain closed during the overnight hours.
Emergency crews were working well into the night to make sure the entire area was safe.
“Please pray for the injured in this accident,” McHenry Mayor Wayne Jett said in a statement. “I was on scene within a few minutes and witnessed several men and women step into action in this bitter cold to save lives.”
The McHenry County Regional Major Crash Investigation Team was investigating the incident Thursday night. The team is composed of officers from the McHenry, Johnsburg, Spring Grove, Harvard, and Woodstock police departments.