2 dead, 9 injured after car crashes into outdoor seating at NW DC restaurant

Fire and rescue crews respond to a crash at an outdoor dining area on Connecticut Avenue NW on March 11, 2022. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Two people are dead and three others critically injured after a vehicle plowed through an outdoor seating area at a Northwest D.C. restaurant Friday.

D.C. Fire and EMS Chief John A. Donnelly said first responders evaluated and transported multiple victims after a driver lost control of his vehicle and careened into tables outside Parthenon, a Greek restaurant and adjacent lounge in the Chevy Chase neighborhood near the Maryland state line.

A D.C. police spokesman said two women died of their injuries on Friday afternoon. Their identities were not immediately released.

At least 11 people were injured when the crash occurred around 12:18 p.m., fire officials confirmed, eight of whom were transported to various hospitals. Five were initially listed in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, including the two women who later died. Three others were treated and released on scene.

“This is rare, we haven’t had an incident like this in many years,” Donnelly said. “Hitting a crowd of people is a very serious event that results in a lot of injuries, that’s what we’re dealing with right now.”

Cmdr. Duncan Bedlion with the Metropolitan Police Department’s Second District said investigators believe an elderly man lost control of his SUV while headed northbound on Connecticut Avenue, and had no indication that the crash was intentional.

“All indications are that this was truly accidental,” Bedlion said. “The driver of the vehicle was driving alone … he’s remained cooperative.”

Bedlion said passersby honked their horns and flagged down responding officers. The injured ranged in age from around 30 to near 80, Donnelly added, and were all seated outside the restaurant. There was no structural damage to the building and no one was entrapped in the crash.

Asked if charges would be filed against the driver, Bedlion said that would be part of the investigation.

D.C. police are still working to piece together the moments before the crash. Bedlion asked members of the public who witnessed the incident, especially those who captured video of the crash, to contact law enforcement by calling 202-727-9099 or texting 50411.

The WTOP Traffic Center reports Connecticut Avenue NW reopened Friday evening following a six-hour closure between McKinley Street and Military Road. For the latest road and traffic conditions, see WTOP’s traffic page or listen to updates every 10 minutes online or on the air at 103.5 FM.

Below is a map of the area:

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein and Shayna Estulin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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