5 people have been evacuated after a car crashes into Chili’s in Baymeadows

Jacksonville, Florida. — The Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department responded to a crash Thursday afternoon at the Chili’s Restaurant on Baymeadows Road.

According to the JFRD, five people at the scene were taken to area hospitals.

The SUV had all four wheels inside the restaurant. No further details were provided regarding the injuries at the scene.

An eyewitness, who asked News4JAX not to use his name in this story, said that it all started in that parking lot between a Walmart and a Chili’s.

“The guy on the phone was arguing with someone. He was hitting the two poles and running at people. Then when he turned around, he kept yelling at the phone,” the witness said. “Then he was trying to hit the oncoming people’s cars. And when he got to the end, he turned around and stopped. Then he screamed. Then he said something and got out pulling the tail and sped straight to Chili’s.”

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Before hitting the restaurant, the SUV appeared to have taken out a tree and water main. Tire tracks show where SUVs continued to enter the building.

Photo outside of Chili’s on Bay Meadows Street.

Cass Sanders said he was heading to the restaurant, planning to have a margarita with a friend.

“We were excited, and then we stopped and saw the damage, and we were like, What’s going on?” Sanders said.

“We had no idea what was happening and we got close,” said Walker Rick, one of the sponsors. “It’s a strange location.”

“You never think something like this will happen to you when you go out to eat,” said patron Jennifer Newman. “You just think it would be a safe environment.”

Soon after the firefighters left the scene, the truck was removed from inside the building. What happened to the driver is still not clear.

Photo from the scene of the accident.
Photo from the scene of the accident.
The photo shows the removal of the SUV from the Chili’s restaurant.

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