8 people injured after driver strikes outdoor dining area in Northern Liberties

A car crashed into an outdoor dining structure on 4th Street in Northern Liberties, injuring several patrons at Cafe La Maude. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A car crashed into an outdoor dining structure on 4th Street in Northern Liberties, injuring several patrons at Cafe La Maude. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A car crashed into the outdoor dining area of Cafe La Maude in Northern Liberties. 

Eight people were injured, according to reports, and are being treated at Temple University Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. All are in stable condition.

“There was no serious injury. Thank God,” restaurant owner Gabi Richan said. “And we’re just going to go on and hopefully rebuild and clean up and see what happens.”

Gabi Richan, owner of Cafe La Maude in Northern Liberties, describes the accident that destroyed one of his outdoor dining structures on Fourth Street. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Richan also explained that the incident involved two cars traveling south on 4th street.

“They were both on the same street coming down,” said Richan. “They were going south and then one car tried to pass the other car and bumped it into the structure.” 

Frederick Tookes was among the people looking at the aftermath. The 62-year-old said such accidents deter him from eating in outdoor seating.

“That’s too close to call for me,” Tookes said. “I mean tables out in the street!? When you gotta put your life in the hands of someone else driving by. That’s what’s going to happen from time to time.”

Fourth Street in Northern Liberties is closed to traffic while police investigate. A car tore the side off an outdoor dining structure before crashing into a parked van. Several patrons at Cafe La Maude were injured. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Fourth Street in Northern Liberties is closed to traffic while police investigate. A car tore the side off an outdoor dining structure before crashing into a parked van. Several patrons at Cafe La Maude were injured. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Fishtown resident Drew Miller traveled through the aftermath on his bike. He said he uses 4th Street multiple times a week, and he said he has never seen drivers speeding dangerously on the street.

“I bike down this street because it’s safer than most,” Miller said. “I feel safer biking on 4th Street than I do many streets.”

The crash occurred about a month before city officials plan to lift all COVID restrictions except mask-wearing on June 11.

Richan expressed optimism that the incident would not be much of a setback, as restaurant dining in the city will soon be able to return to full capacity.

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