A car knocked down a traffic signal and crashed into a Burger King in north suburban Evanston Sunday morning, causing an evacuation of the restaurant.
About 10:35 a.m., the car was headed northbound on Dodge Avenue near Dempster Street when it jumped the curb and hit a traffic signal pole, knocking the signal down, Evanston Police Cmdr. Joe Dugan.
The car continued north on Dempster and went over another curb, striking a gas meter attached to the Burger King at 1829 Dempster St., Dugan said.
“There was a huge gas escape at the time,” Dwight Hohl, a division chief for the Evanston Fire Department, told reporters at the scene.
People inside the building exited before the fire department arrived, Hohl said.
The restaurant was immediately closed and was expected to be reopened by 4 p.m. after Nicor Gas fixed the meter, according to a restaurant manager reached by phone.
Fire officials treated the couple in the vehicle at the scene.
The 72-year-old woman driving the car was cited with negligent driving, driving on a sidewalk, disobeying a traffic control device and damage to city property, Dugan said. Information about the passenger wasn’t known.
She told police that her brakes had failed, but investigators had not confirmed that as of 3 p.m. Sunday, Dugan said.
The driver is scheduled to appear at the Cook County courthouse in north suburban Skokie at 10:30 a.m. April 20, police said.