Car crashes through Pawtucket restaurant

Photo: Marcos Valentin/WPRI-TV

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — A Pawtucket restaurant is back open for business after a car came crashing through it Friday morning.

The crash took place just before 9 a.m. at Arigna Irish Pub and Coal Fire Kitchen on Armistice Boulevard. The car smashed through a fence, took out an overhang held up by wooden beams and ended up inside the building.

“I heard the accelerator going very high and I saw the car was coming towards me pretty quick, so I jumped out of the way,” said Peter Bailey, a contractor who was working in the parking lot at the time.

See surveillance footage of the crash in the video above.

Inside the car was a 32-year-old Pawtucket woman and a young child. Bailey said he and another man who was nearby rushed over to help.

“There was a lot of smoke coming out of the car, so I jumped in and took the baby out of there,” Bailey said.

“I saw all the smoke from the restaurant,” eyewitness Eva Fiske recalled. “And I said, ‘Oh no, the restaurant’s on fire.’ And then, just chaos.”

No injuries were reported. The pub sustained damage, but police said it was deemed structurally sound by the city’s building inspector.

Investigators said at this time, the cause of the crash appears to be operator error.

Eyewitnesses said the woman was leaving the parking lot of the bank next door when it appeared she lost control of the car. They told police they saw the driver’s side open and heard the engine rev prior to the crash.

The driver said she was trying to hit the brakes but the vehicle was not slowing, according to police, and she had no recollection of the door being open.