ARLINGTON, Va. - New video posted online shows the frightening scene at Ireland's Four Courts bar in Arlington, VA after a car plowed into the building igniting a fire and sending patrons running for their lives.
The video was recorded by Zahid Shah around 6:45 p.m. Friday outside the pub on Wilson Boulevard.
The video shows smoke pouring from the structure as a large group of people run from away from the blaze. Firefighters arrive and rush inside shortly before flames can be seen shooting out of the front of the restaurant.
Two people can be seen carrying a woman away from the burning building. They placed her on the ground under a tree near the end of the block where a firefighter arrived to help.
Investigators believe an Uber driver was behind the wheel of the vehicle that crashed into the restaurant leaving more than a dozen injured – including the driver, the passenger, several employees and customers. FOX 5’s Bob Barnard says at least four remain hospitalized.
Dave Cahill, one of the restaurant’s managing partners, spoke with FOX 5 Saturday and said he is still trying to process what happened. "The people that were injured yesterday are regular customers, and they've been with us to celebrate so many happy occasions. Our mind right now is with them and their families," Cahill said.
The community has rallied around the restaurant and has started a GoFundMe page to help pay for repairs. Over $72,000 has been raised as of Tuesday morning
The Arlington County Police Department says detectives do not believe the crash was an intentional act and alcohol has been ruled out as a contributing factor. The driver of the vehicle is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
Three patients remain hospitalized. One is in critical condition and two are in stable condition.
According to the Storefront Safety Council, crashes like this happen 100 times every day in the United States. Experts recommend barricades in front of businesses where traffic is aimed directly towards the building like Ireland’s Four Courts. It’s called a T-shaped intersection.
Arlington County says Wilson Boulevard and Courthouse Road was and is being looked at for redesign due to redevelopment projects in the area. In the past, VDOT has identified the location as needing pedestrian safety improvements.
Statistics from Arlington Police reveal they have responded to the intersection for a report of a crash 4 times over the past 5 years. 2 – 2019, 1 – 2021, and the most recent incident on Friday. They say this is a rare occurrence.
The bar is currently boarded up and deemed unsafe as it undergoes repairs. The owner tells us he hopes to reopen as soon as possible.