Police said Taffer and Bloom were among a group of patrons at the Greek restaurant at 5510 Connecticut Ave. when the incident happened at 12:17 pm Friday. Crash investigators determined that a 2008 Subaru Forester first drove south at high speed through a parking lot in the 5500 block of Connecticut, left the parking lot, went south and then northbound, climbing over the curb outside the Parthenon and striking many of its outdoor diners .
Taffer and Bloom were rushed to hospitals but died. Taffer’s family said Saturday they did not want to comment.
Witnesses told The Post on Friday that the gray Subaru SUV suddenly appeared to accelerate onto the patio, where about 16 diners were sitting. “It was going super-fast, like police-car fast,” said Becky Pulles, who was seated with a friend at an outdoor table at a Starbucks about 75 feet from the Parthenon.
Michael Harrison, a manager at the restaurant, said he was at a window inside the lounge area as the SUV barreled toward the patio. The driver “looked like he was confused as to why he couldn’t stop,” Harrison said. “I saw the car hop the curb and start plowing everything in its way,” he said.
The crash toppled tables as it feels rubble flying. People scrambled to lift the SUV off those on the ground. Harrison rushed out to help heave the front of the SUV off a victim asking, “Where’s my daughter? Where’s my daughter?”
Duncan Bedlion, a DC police commander who runs the 2nd District station, described the driver as an older man who was alone in the vehicle. He was cooperating with investigators after the crash.
Peter Hermann and Dan Morse contributed to this report.