SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – On Monday night, caution tape was still up around the outdoor dining area in the parking lot outside Dynasty Chinese Seafood Restaurant. Crews spent the day cleaning up debris from a horrific crash that played out on Sunday.
Mall surveillance video obtained by KPIX 5 shows the driver of an SUV jumping two curbs and crossing four lanes of traffic before plowing into outdoor diners at Grand Century mall.
Police say two patrons are still in critical condition. Seven others were also rushed to the hospital, including the 69-year-old driver.
“It appears this gentleman was trying to park his Toyota 4Runner, and used the accelerator instead of the brake, causing him to collide,” said Sergeant Christian Camarillo.
San Jose resident Long Sun is choosing to get his dinner to-go, Monday night.
“It hit us hard, because we were just here last week, we were one of the first to be seated close to it and when you hear that, it’s just shocking to hear, especially at a local neighborhood dim sum spot,” said Sun. “In regards to logistics, something could have been done in regards to providing a little bit more safety.”
Other diners in the plaza also had safety on their minds.
“I told my wife that we got to find somewhere that’s closer indoors and far away from the parking lot as possible,” said San Jose resident Kevin Tzuoo.
Cell phone video shows victims wedged partially under the SUV, others lying on the ground, waiting for paramedics to arrive.
Police say just hours after Sunday’s crash, an eerily similar accident happened less than one mile away at another shopping plaza on 1690 Story Road.
Candles and flowers have been placed at a food cart called La Fragua.
Police say a woman driving an F-150 was trying to park and accidentally pressed the accelerator instead of the brake, killing the vendor. He died at the hospital.
“He’s a nice guy, I know him, I met him, I ate here too, and it’s so sad you know what happened,” said Santos Moscol of San Jose.
The drivers in both cases have not charged with any crimes, according SJPD.
“You never imagine something is going to happen over here, because maybe if here… in the street you can say oh well, it’s dangerous right,” he added.
While outdoor dining is permitted in Santa Clara County, the City of San Jose says Dynasty Restaurant did not apply for an outdoor dining program permit, even though approval is virtually automatic.