Driver in McHenry Starbucks crash that injured 5 had medical emergency, police say

MCHENRY, Ill. (WLS) -- A driver had a medical emergency before crashing a pickup truck into a Starbucks in northwest suburban McHenry Thursday, injuring five people, police said.

Police said in total five people were hurt when a Dodge Ram veered off the road after 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the 4300-block of West Elm Street. The pickup was traveling west on West Elm Street when it left the roadway east of the intersection of Elm Street and Oak Drive and while off the roadway, police said it struck a Nissan SUV in the drive-thru area before hitting the coffee shop.

Emergency officials said a male barista was pinned underneath the pickup truck and its driver was trapped inside. They were the most badly injured.

With gas leaking all over, first responders were able to rescue the barista from under the pickup truck.

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A McHenry Starbucks was heavily damaged and five people were injured after a pickup truck slammed into the shop.

Police said four people were taken to the hospital. One of the patients, a 21-year-old employee, needed to be airlifted in critical condition to a second hospital according to the fire department.

The driver of the Nissan SUV was treated and released and a second Starbucks employee is in good condition, police said.

Police said the driver of the pickup truck will not be charged because the crash was caused by a medical emergency.

Witnesses said the Starbucks was a popular place for students to study before that pickup truck suddenly barreled into the coffee shop.

"The driver just slammed into the building," said witness Brandon Chapels. "It was like an instant boom."

Caryn Peppler said it seemed like the driver lost control.

"His windshield seemed to be already cracked, something before it happened. But it was very quick," Peppler said. "Flew up on the curb. The tire seemed to go over the white SUV and just slammed into the corner of the building. It was almost like a puff of debris from bricks and things like that."

Thursday night, there was concern removing the pickup truck would cause the entire building to collapse, but it was removed overnight.

Starbucks said in a statement, "We are deeply saddened this happened at one of our stores. Our focus right now is supporting our partners (employees) and customers impacted."

The McHenry Police Department's Major Crash Assistance Team is investigating the incident. The team is comprised of officers from the McHenry Police Department, Johnsburg Police Department, Spring Grove Police Department and Woodstock Police Department.

The McHenry Planning and Development said the building is structurally sound. The Starbucks has only been open for a few months.
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