A car that struck a parked pickup truck late Friday evening set off a chain of events that resulted in a fire at Blessing’s Tavern at 1116 Watervliet-Shaker Road and injured four people.
Police said a 2006 BMW driven by Michael Carr, 18, of Colonie, and carrying a 16-year-old boy as a passenger, went off of Consaul Road at approximately 11:04 p.m., hitting a 2009 Chevrolet pickup truck and and 2016 BMW.
The force of the crash sent the 2006 BMW underneath the pickup truck and both vehicles went through the wall of Blessings Tavern, bursting into flames, police said. The 2016 BMW burst into flames and burned against outside of the building.
Carr and the passenger were able to get out of the burning car, police said.
About 30 people were inside the tavern, police said. Carr, along with a cook and one restaurant patron, were taken to Albany Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. The passenger suffered very serious injuries, police said, and was taken to Albany Medical Center and the flown to the Westchester Medical Center burn unit.
The building suffered heavy fire damage and Colonie police are continuing to investigate the incident.
On Saturday afternoon no one was at the tavern. Sheets of plywood were placed over a hole in the side of the building where the cars crashed through the wall. Around the plywood the walls of the building were blackened.
Mike O’Toole, who lives across Consaul Road from the tavern, said he was in bed sleeping at the time of the accident. He said his wife woke up when she heard the crash. “My wife told me at first there was a crash and she stuck her head out the door, and then there was an explosion,” O’Toole said. “That woke me up.”
O’Toole got dressed and went outside.
“Then I come out and I see Billy’s truck up in flames with a car underneath it,” he said. Billy, said O’Toole, is the cook who was injured and a personal friend of his.
“It was his truck that was burning,” said O’Toole, “I know he got hurt, I don’t know exactly how bad he got hurt.”
O’Toole said he was told bystanders came to the aid of the passenger who was badly burned. “I’m surprised they got out of the vehicle, it was underneath the truck,” O’Toole said of Carr and his passenger.
“I’ve known [owner] Liz [Altrock] a long time, she’s worked very hard,” said O’Toole, who has lived across from Blessing’s for the past 37 years.
“It’s unfortunate for Liz, and I hope the young fella survives his burns,” O’Toole said.
The status of the 16-year-old flown to Westchester for burn treatment could not be determined.
The Colonie Police Department gave no further details as of Saturday evening.