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Hit and Run Driver Nearly Causes Fatality at Tere’s Mexican Grill on Melrose

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A terrifying scene out on the front patio

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The crash scene at Tere’s Mexican Grill
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

A horrifying car crash at popular neighborhood restaurant Tere’s Mexican Grill along Melrose caused diners to scramble for their lives, and almost took the life of one man who became pinned between the car and the restaurant.

The scary scene unfolded over the weekend on the sidewalk patio of Tere’s, just one block east of Providence on Melrose. The restaurant has stood as a staple for mostly casual Mexican-American eats since 2002.

On Saturday, a driver failed to navigate a turn at the adjacent intersection and went screeching onto the unprotected patio as it was filled with diners eating happily in plastic chairs. Because of the sound of the tires, witnesses tell ABC7 they were almost all able to swiftly move away in time — except for one man who became pinned against the building at the leg. He wasn’t held there long, however, as the driver of the SUV actually reversed his car off the sidewalk and sped away, dragging pieces of the vehicle behind. The car was ultimately discovered just a block away, ditched next to a chain grocery store.

Police are currently looking for the suspect, and hoping he or she may come forward on their own. As for the unnamed 26-year-old victim, he is in serious but stable condition at an area hospital. The restaurant, meanwhile, is still in cleanup mode but should reopen today.