An out-of-control car sent carvers and waitstaff at the venerable Europa Restaurant in downtown Orinda "leaping for their lives" this afternoon when the driver mistakenly hit the gas and sent her car sailing through the restaurant's front window.
Owner George Boukis says his employees looked up to see the white Honda Accord bearing down on them at about 2:20 p.m.
"Apparently the elderly driver mistook the accelerator for the brake pedal and punched it," Boukis said. "We had customers in here at the time but not as many as we normally do since lunch was over."
Moraga-Orinda Fire District firefighters were evaluating the driver of the Accord, but Boukis and others say she did not appear to have suffered any serious injury.
The car has been removed from the restaurant, a popular lunchtime destination in Orinda, and workers are attempting to clean up the scene.
Boukis said it was all "too fresh" to put a dollar amount to damage done to the restaurant.
"We're still cleaning up, trying to settle our nerves," he said. "I gotta go. We're really glad no one was hurt."