5 pedestrians hit by distracted driver on Grand Avenue in St. Paul

Five pedestrians were struck by a distracted driver whose car jumped the curb on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, crashing into a Dunn Bros. coffee shop.

Police said the car went onto the sidewalk near the intersection of Grand Avenue and Snelling Avenue just before 9 p.m. Thursday, hitting 5 people. Two of the injured pedestrians were taken to the hospital for treatment.

The driver, a 23-year-old man from Hugo, Minn., admitted he was digging into his shorts pocket for keys and a cell phone, and didn't have his eyes on the road. He was cited for reckless driving and failure to carry proof of insurance.

The Dunn Bros. coffee shop had damage to its front entrance and some sidewalk picnic tables. Kyle Ohlenkamp was sitting outside the coffee shop when the car plowed onto the sidewalk. The last thing he remembers is getting lifted right out of his chair and going airborne.

"That life flashing before your eyes thing. I felt that for the first time," Ohlenkamp said. "It was like an earthquake."

Ohlenkamp said he actually felt bad for the driver, calling distracted driving "the new DUI."

"He was shaken up too," he said. "He didn't know what happened right away. He was in shock. I wasn't upset. I was just happy to be alive."

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