Driver who plowed into Pass-A-Grille restaurant charged with DUI

6:01 PM, Jun 3, 2012   |    comments
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"I still can't stop thinking about it. It was so scary" - Sarah Huissen

 

PASS-A-GRILLE, Florida - A car plowed into the patio of an historic restaurant in Pass-A-Grille, pinning a man and nearly injuring several other customers.

It all happened during dinner, when nearly every seat was full at the Hurricane Seafood Restaurant on Gulf Way.

"I still can't stop thinking about it," says hostess Sarah Huissen, who alerted managers and police after it happened. "It was so scary."

Huissen has only been a hostess at the restaurant for five days, and got some on-the-job training she'd never expect.

"The gas was being revved and I noticed it was being pressed really hard," she says. "The tires started to squeal and he actually started to move. It jumped the fence and came down on a man that we tried to get out of the way."

Behind the wheel, St. Pete Beach police say, was Kenneth Hearn, who's been charged with driving under the influence. Some employees say they were told Hearn may have mixed prescriptions and alcohol.

"While he was here on the fence, the tires were still rolling. He was still pushing the gas," says Huissen, who doesn't recall Hearn being a customer at the restaurant.

Some servers grabbed children who were in harm's way, while others rushed to help a man trapped under the car.

"I saw him trying to run," says Sergio Zuniga, who helped lift the car. "But one of these poles got hit before the car even hit the fence and it swung it toward him and hit him in the back of the head."

Despite the damage, this is the calm after the storm at Hurricane, and they're open for business.

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