2 diners hurt after wrong-way driver crashes onto downtown Evanston plaza


EVANSTON, Ill. – Two women suffered minor injuries Tuesday afternoon after a car plowed into them while dining in downtown Evanston.

The chaotic scene unfolded on the corner of Davis and Orrington Tuesday around 11 a.m. Witnesses told WGN a woman driving the opposite direction on a one-way street veered off the road and onto the plaza during lunchtime.

“It’s really kind of a little bit of a miracle because it could have been a lot more serious than it was,” said witness Marilyn Maxen.

According to police, the young women had just sat down in the outdoor dining area moments before a white Prius crashed into them.   

“They were sitting there eating lunch and the car somehow lost control, police are investigating, and ended up striking two people,” said Dan Lynch, Evanston Battalion Fire Chief.

Clare Preis says she was working the cash register at Aloha Poke and heard the crash.

“They had just been in our store and we had just given them some food and now it’s all over the ground,” she said.  

Startled by the noise, Preis stepped away from the cash register and witnessed the aftermath – a car on the plaza and tables and chairs scattered about.

“All of sudden, I hear this huge crash sound and I look to my left and I see just a sign fallen over some chair and tables fallen over and I saw some of our customers running out of our store,” Preis said.

Both women were expected to be OK after being transported to the hospital.

“If the woman had not turned her car, I could have been hit, which is scary,” Preis said.

“It had the best possible outcome. I would say,” Maxen added.

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