4 Hurt as Driver Crashes Into Cafe

Four people were injured Monday, two of them critically, when a car swerved onto a sidewalk and crashed through the plate glass window of a Beverly Hills coffee shop, police said.

At the time of the accident, a number of customers were seated at tables outside the Coffee Bean on North Beverly Drive, including several Beverly Hills police and firefighters.

"A Mercedes just lost control, jumped the curb and hit the front of the shop," said fire inspector Nancy Johnson. "One woman got caught under the car and then got pinned against a pillar."

Two paramedics jumped out of the way of the car and then immediately began treating the injured, said Fire Capt. Tim Scranton. At the time of the accident, he said, two ambulances and a fire engine were parked outside the restaurant.

A man and a woman, both critically hurt, were taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with head, leg and internal injuries, authorities said. Another man and woman suffered minor injuries and were taken to UCLA Medical Center. The names of the injured were not released.

The cause of the accident was under investigation. The driver apparently was not injured.

"I thought it was an explosion of some sort until I saw the Mercedes come through the plate glass window. . . ," said police Lt. Edward T. Kreins. "I actually thought a bomb went off, or maybe an earthquake."

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