An SUV slammed this week into a Hardee’s eatery in North Carolina, killing two brothers who were having breakfast inside, police said.
The fatal crash took place at around 9:45 a.m. on Sunday at the fast-food restaurant on Forest Hills Road in Wilson, around 40 miles east of Raleigh.
The Lincoln Aviator struck brothers Christopher Ruffin, 58, and Clay Ruffin, 62, both from Wilson, according to police.
Gabriela Palacios Alonzo told the station WRAL that she was in the drive-thru when she heard an employee scream. She walked around the building and saw one of the victims lying on the sidewalk in a “bad state.”
Christopher was pronounced dead at the scene, while his brother died at ECU Health Medical Center in Greenville.
Photos from the scene showed the silver SUV appeared to have gone through the front windows, coming to a stop inside the dining area atop piles of broken glass and twisted window frames.
Another customer was examined by emergency medical personnel but didn’t go to the hospital, said police Sgt. Eric McInerny.
Police did not identify the person who was examined by paramedics or reveal their age, but a Hardee’s employee told WRAL that there was a young boy who ended up underneath the out-of-control SUV while his dad was in the restroom.
“When (the father) came out of the bathroom and went through all the glass, he found and pulled the boy from underneath the car,” the unnamed worker told the station. “The little boy was screaming and hollering because he was scared and had cuts on the top of his head.”
Police identified the driver of the SUV as 78-year-old Jesse Lawrence, of Wilson. He was treated at Wilson Medical Center and released.
The investigation was still ongoing, but police said they didn’t believe the crash to be medical- or impairment-related. As of early Monday morning, no charges have been announced.
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