The inside of Zambrero Mackay CBD after a car crashed into the resturant Photo Contributed
The inside of Zambrero Mackay CBD after a car crashed into the resturant Photo Contributed Contributed

Witness recalls the moment when a car smashed into Zambrero

THE "scariest moment" of Troy Suter's life came as he was waiting outside the Gregory St Subway after a night on the town Sunday morning: he turned his head south and saw two cars collide; one was sent careening through Zambrero and destroyed the restaurant.

The region showed its support for the owners and staff on social media yesterday.

But while four people involved were rushed to hospital, everyone escaped serious injury.

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash but a spokesperson said the Nissan Maxima, which ended up lodged inside the Mexican eatery, and a taxi collided at the Gordon and Gregory Sts intersection.

The 25-year-old man driving and his two passengers, a 23-year-old male and 20-year-old female, were cut from the car by fire crews.

Yesterday afternoon a Mackay Base Hospital spokeswoman said the driver was okay and had been sent home, while the man who was the front passenger received a spinal injury and minor internal injuries, and would spend the night in hospital.

The female, who had cuts on her cheek and arm, also spent the night.

The 53-year-old driving the taxi was also taken to hospital for a look over, but wasn't hurt.

Despite the lucky escape for those involved, crash witness Mr Suter won't be forgetting the terrifying squeal of brakes and the sound of the restaurant "crashing in" any time soon.

"My heart was just racing, I've never been in that situation before," he said.

"There could have been a fatality. It was so scary.

"But I can't believe how many people came to help."

He said after hearing the crash a mob of "a good 50 to 70 people" rushed from the bars and clubs to help.

"I went to the white car and was doing the response thing, trying to ask if they were okay," he said.

"I didn't get (the impression) they were conscious.

"So I stepped back and called the ambulance.

"(After) I was just in shock. My mates said to me, 'You seem a bit white'."

The biggest blow was likely felt by Zambrero franchise partner Peter Quinn and his 15 staff, many of who will now have no place to work.

But even though the majority of his furniture, all his fridges, the entire shopfront and a lot of glass was destroyed, Mr Quinn was grateful the crash hadn't happened a couple of hours earlier.

"It's pretty scary to think we had a full restaurant a few hours before," he said.

"No staff and no customers were injured, so that's the main thing."

He described the phone call at 2.30am notifying him of the damage as " devastating".

"It was a massive shock. It's pretty devastating," he said.

"We're trying to build a business."

But first thing yesterday, builders were on the scene to get the shop up and running again.

While Mr Quinn didn't want to put a time frame on the repair, he said "it won't be months".

"At this stage we're just gathering our thoughts. It's been a whirlwind of a day," he said. "But we'll be back as soon as we can. It won't be months."

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