LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – Victims of a suspected impaired driver are thanking the northern Colorado community, after they survived a vehicle veering off the road and landing atop many of them. Eight people were sitting outside the Dairy Queen at U.S. 34 and Lincoln, Saturday, when a driver jumped the curb and crashed in to the tables outside the eatery.
Bob and Carol Hendry said they were enjoying time with their grandchildren when the vehicle, driven by 31-year-old Michael DuPuis, hit the table where they were eating ice cream. The vehicle, estimated to be traveling 50 miles per hour before the crash, hit Bob Hendry so hard he was thrown in to the parking lot.
Bob Hendry said he remembered feeling pressure, and then found himself laying on the ground.
“I wasn’t really sure where I was,” Bob Hendry told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.
While Bob Hendry was sent in to the parking lot, his wife and grandchildren were briefly trapped beneath the vehicle.
“We were enjoying our ice cream. And, all of a sudden this car came out of nowhere,” Carol Hendry said. “Bodies flying. Bricks flying. Kids screaming and crying. It was awful.”
Another family, yet to be identified to the public, took the hit more severely. One woman needed help from bystanders to get out from underneath the vehicle, as she was pinned below the table.
Many are seen, in video provided by Dairy Queen, running from across the highway to help out those in need. Children were consoled by other customers, and taken inside to safety.
Staff at Dairy Queen were applauded for jumping in to action quickly. Some called 911, others assisted the injured.
“A grandmother came in with her grandkids, and I immediately started helping them,” said Caitlin Skees, an employee.
“The grandma was yelling, ‘Call 911, call 911,’” said Megan Voeller, an employee.
In hope of assisting families with the medical bills from the incident, the Dairy Queen in Loveland set up a GoFundMe for the public to help.
While her husband recovers from broken bones in his back, and another family continues their treatment, Carol Hendry said she hoped the judicial system would severely punish the suspect in the case. Carol said she had no room for forgiveness in her heart for the suspect, especially after she learned he was likely impaired. She called on judges to enforce a maximum sentence.
“I hope that he realizes he almost wiped out two families, killed eight people,” Carol Hendry said. “Life is precious. You treasure it everyday.”