Three people were injured April 5 in Pinellas Park when a box truck crossed a median into oncoming traffic, struck a pickup truck head-on, then crashed into a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant building.

  • Crash occurred around 1:17 p.m. April 5
  • Two patrons inside restaurant hospitalized
  • Investigators say truck's brakes failed

Pinellas Park Police said the crash occurred around 1:17 p.m. just off 66th Street, when the brakes on the box truck failed, causing the driver to lose control. The truck then jumped the curb, crossed three lanes of northbound traffic and hit the pickup truck.

That collision then sent the box truck into the facade of the KFC.

Patrons who were in the restaurant said when the truck hit the building it sounded like an explosion.

"It was horrible, and one guy got pinned in," said Jennifer O'Malley.

The man O'Malley described was, in fact, pinned between the wall where the truck crashed and a table.

"It was a big sound, crash!" said Beverly Harrell. "I mean, the guy was practically pinned where the truck ran into."

Photo: Pinellas Park Police

Police said that man, along with another patron, were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the pickup truck that was struck head-on was also transported with serious injuries.

"The guy in the pickup was laying flat on his face on the ground," said Harrell.

The driver of the box truck declined an interview.

Investigators said because the brakes went out, the driver will not be cited for the crash. A city building inspector said the truck did not damage any supporting walls of the restaurant.

The fire department was on-scene after the crash to handle a fuel leak from the truck. Fire fighters were able to contain the fuel before it reached the city's sewer system.

The KFC plans to re-open as soon as they can complete their clean up of the area.