Five people were reported injured, two of them critically, after a pickup truck drove into a McHenry Starbucks on Thursday evening, leaving a path of destruction in its wake.
The crash occurred before 5 p.m. at 4305 W. Elm St., McHenry police said. The pickup truck's hazard lights were blinking as it jutted out of the gaping maw left in the building.
McHenry Police Public Affairs officer Patrick Polidori said the full-sized pickup truck was traveling westbound on West Elm Street when it ran off the roadway for unknown reasons and struck the Starbucks building.
The building sustained extensive damage and five people were injured, two of whom were taken from the scene with critical injuries, Polidori said. One of those in critical condition subsequently was flown to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville on Thursday night, where Polidori said that person remained in the critical condition. The second critical patient later was upgraded to fair condition at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital, Polidori said.
Two other people were listed in fair condition Thursday night at Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital, Polidori said. One additional person, while injured, was released at the scene and not taken to a hospital, he said. The victims' ages and genders weren't immediately available Thursday night.
Caleb Brasil, 21, of McHenry, said he was driving by the Starbucks shortly after the crash occurred and said it appeared that the truck crashed into the building at a 45-degree angle, taking out the engine block of a white car visible in the drive-thru lane.
"I could see a lady behind the counter walking around. She appeared to be in shock," Brasil said, adding it appeared the truck was positioned "right over the barista counter."
Brasil said he was stopped in traffic on eastbound Route 120 – in the lane closest to Starbucks – because of the crash and a fire truck pulled in to block the road behind him.
"There were people running down the road trying to get to the building. Police officers shouting to keep people back. Onlookers lined up on the sidewalk," he said. "You could tell it was a lot of chaos going on. Pedestrians arguing with police officers."
No one was visible inside the vehicle in the drive-thru lane, Brasil said, but he couldn't tell if anyone remained inside the pickup early Thursday evening.
McHenry Mayor Wayne Jett posted a message on his Facebook page Thursday evening asking people to pray for everyone injured in the crash.
"I was on scene within a few minutes and witnessed several men and women step into action in this bitter cold to save lives," Jett wrote.
"I have always respected the police, dispatch and fire department for what they do, but today they deserve the most highest respect for how they all handled this situation," Jett continued. "Prayers to all of the Starbucks employees and customers who [were] involved."
A Nixle alert from the McHenry Police Department sent at 5:06 p.m. said that Route 120 was closed between Meadow and Crystal Lake Road for an extended time. Motorists were advised to avoid the area, which reopened after 6 a.m. on Friday.
Polidori said the investigation still is preliminary and McHenry police received mutual aid assistance from several agencies in McHenry County.