HOPE MILLS, North Carolina -- A matter of seconds made the difference in Cumberland County on Tuesday.
A group of customers at a busy restaurant had just gotten up to leave when a car came smashing through the front window of the eatery.
The car went nearly all the way inside Fred Chason's Grandsons buffet restaurant on Marracco Drive in Hope Mills.
On Tuesday night, the front window at Fred Chason's Grandsons restaurant is boarded up. The car that was pushed into the building came to a stop a few feet from the buffet serving tables -- and several terrified customers.
In seconds a quiet meal turned into shambles. It was a crash that waitress Brooke Horne says sounded as bad as it looked.
"Just a loud crashing-like sound, just like thunder, just crumbling," Horne said. "I don't know -- it blew my mind."
On surveillance camera video, you can see a runaway 18-wheeler smashing into a car parked at the restaurant. The restaurant's co-owner said it's a miracle no one was hurt.
"The table that was sitting right in front of the window," (The customers) had just gotten up and left," Sheryl Warga said. "Scared everybody. They were real shook up, but everyone is fine, thank God for that."
It happened about 3 p.m. The truck was idling in the parking lot of a convenience store across the street. Somehow it slipped into gear and began moving across the road, and went into the parking lot, slamming into the car and pushing it into the building.
The crash shattered a window and splintered a section of the front wall.
Hope Mills Police are investigating the incident.
So far, there are no estimates of damage, but Horne and others are counting their blessings.
"I was going to clean the table," Horne said. "But I decided I was a little hungry, so I said I'm going to get me something to eat. By the time I walked off, the car hit."
Tuesdays are a busy night at Grandsons, and many hungry customers were turned away.
The owners promised that the eatery would re-open Wednesday.
Watch as car crashes through busy restaurant