Evanston police say two people were injured when a car drove into the seating area at the McDonald’s restaurant on Howard Street about 6:50 this morning.

Police Cmdr. Ryan Glew says the driver of the car and a customer at the restaurant were both transported to St. Francis Hospital by Evanston Fire Department paramedics.

(EFD photo)

The fire department is also working to clean up gasoline from the car that spilled into the restaurant.

The restaurant is closed for now, and Howard Street is expected to be closed to traffic between Asbury and Ridge avenues until about 8 a.m.

Police say the injuries to the two people appear to be minor.

Update 8:55 a.m.:

(EPD photo)

The car now has been pulled out of the building. Tow truck driver Luis Mazariegos says the car had ended up perched on top of a table in the restaurant and that with gas spilled from the car’s ruptured tank it was tricky to get the vehicle out safely, even after firefighters spread foam in and around the building.

At this hour traffic on Howard Street is still blocked, but the road is expected to reopen soon.

Update 1:05 p.m.: Police say the driver of the minivan, a 47-year-old Chicago woman was trying to turn from Oakley Avenue onto westbound Howard Street when she lost control of the car and it left the road, drove through the parking lot and crashed into the restaurant.

The driver, who suffered a minor leg injury, received citations for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and for damaging a city tree.

A 58-year-old Chicago resident who was a customer in the restaurant suffered minor cuts.

This is the second time this month a car has hit the McDonalds on Howard. Police say the restaurant remains closed pending structural assessment, repairs and clean-up.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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