Drunk driver sends 2 to hospital after crashing into Winston-Salem bar, police say

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A suspected drunk driver crashed into the front of a Winston-Salem bar, sending two women to the hospital and another diving to safety, according to police.

Around 1 p.m. Tuesday, police say the intoxicated man was driving a Nissan on Old Rural Hall Road when he crashed into another driver. The Nissan then barreled through a fence and under the awning of Willie’s Bar, where an employee was about to sit.

“I heard a squeal noise and I stepped back a couple feet and the car went straight through,” said employee Shauna Shinault, who missed being hit by inches. “I dove out of the way and it happened within seconds.”

The man then got out of the car and ran away, according to police.

“When he looked back at me, I hollered at him to stop,” Shinault said. “I was like, ‘Hey stop,’ and when I did, he kind of drunk staggered and then took off running as fast as he could.”

Police, firefighters and paramedics responded. They transported two women to the hospital; the passenger in the Nissan and the driver of the other vehicle.

“I helped this lady,” Shinault said, of the other driver. “But I couldn’t do anything for the other lady.”

Police say both women are expected to be OK.

“It sounded like two buses hitting each other head-on is what it sounded like,” Shinault said, describing the severity of the crash.

The drunk driver made it about a mile away, before being captured close to a fire station, police said.

“Like the paramedic said, he said, ‘Honey, you got an angel with you is all I can tell you,’” Shinault said.

Police say the man will be charged with DWI and hit-and-run.

Willie’s Bar