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Dozens injured after vehicle crashes into New Hampshire restaurant, authorities say


By Artemis Moshtaghian and Ashley R. Williams, CNN

(CNN) — Nearly three dozen people were injured in New Hampshire Sunday after an SUV plowed into a roadside restaurant in Laconia, officials said.

The SUV crashed into the Looney Bin Bar and Grill during lunchtime and injured 34 people, according to the Laconia Fire Department.

A vehicle was making a left turn as it pulled out of a nearby business when the driver of another vehicle, which was in the center lane turning into the same establishment, gave them the go ahead, Laconia Police Chief Matthew Canfield told CNN.

The driver of the vehicle pulling out didn’t apparently see a third vehicle, which was heading south, in the third travel lane. The two vehicles collided, sending the southbound vehicle careening into the Looney Bin, Canfield said.

Fourteen people were taken to area hospitals and another 20 people were treated at the scene and released, authorities said.

Two of the hospitalized patrons sustained “significant lower leg injuries,” while others who were transported to hospitals were treated for lacerations, contusions and other non-life-threatening injuries, the news release stated.

A window that survived the crash displayed an “open” sign – which accurately described the state of the restaurant’s busted front wall where only a single column of wood still stood, video from CNN affiliate WMUR showed.

The vehicle’s impact left pieces of the structure scattered on the restaurant’s floor. Firefighters were seen shoveling up broken wood and debris from the damaged front portion of the restaurant on the rainy Sunday afternoon.

The hole in the restaurant was boarded up after the crash, WMUR reported.

Laconia lies at the center of New Hampshire’s lakes region. Its population is about 16,700, according to the 2021 Census.

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