Onlookers narrowly avoided being hit by an out-of-control car as it mounted a footpath in Sydney’s northwest and crashed into the front of a restaurant.
A man in his 80s driving a Honda CRV was trying to park his car when he accidentally reversed through the front of an Eastwood seafood restaurant on Tuesday at about 12.20pm.
A group of terrified pedestrians screamed and ran away from the carnage, while two hero firefighters sprang into action and got to work moving people out of the way.
The car then accelerated and slammed into the front of a parked taxi which brought the rampage to an end as smoke poured out of the CRV.
A street sign and a bin outside of a NAB bank next to the restaurant were also destroyed by the driver when the car initially mounted the footpath.
Pedestrians walked across broken glass and debris and gathered around the vehicle to check on the man.
One of the firefighters helped the elderly driver out of the vehicle, which had stopped smoking, and called emergency services.
Fire & Rescue NSW Acting Superintendent Rob Jansen said the elderly man had been trying to park the car when the incident occurred.
‘He was having a bit of trouble so his wife got out and he’s reversed the car and – whether he’s confused the accelerator from the brake – he’s ended up mounted the kerb and hit the front of the shop,’ Supt Jansen told news.com.au.
Supt Jansen said the man tried to move the car but instead jerked it backwards and forwards before it sped into the restaurant.
He said the firemen who helped pedestrians move out of the way were on their lunch break.
‘They (the firefighters) ushered some people into another shop and they were able to make sure the driver was okay,’ he said.
NSW Police said the driver tested negative to a roadside breath test and suffered no injuries and no pedestrians were harmed.
The front of the seafood restaurant only received minor damage.
‘Officers from Ryde Police Area Command attended and have commenced inquiries into the incident,’ police said in a statement.