CLEVELAND (WJW)– A Cleveland man is being treated for life-threatening injuries he suffered after the RTA bus shelter he was sitting in was struck at high speed by an SUV.
Cleveland police said it happened just after 2:30 a.m. on Sunday as the vehicle was traveling eastbound on Detroit Avenue.
Investigators said the SUV veered off the road, struck a fire hydrant near West 84th Street, hit a telephone pole, drove through the RTA bus shelter and then hit two concrete garbage containers before coming to a stop.
Lucas Zhao, 22, of Cleveland, was inside the shelter waiting for a bus and suffered severe injuries when the vehicle slammed into it.
Surveillance video obtained by FOX 8 News shows the SUV careening out of control. We are stopping the video just before the vehicle hit the bus shelter.
The video continues with the SUV spinning out before coming to a stop. A second surveillance video obtained by FOX 8 shows the Mercedes Benz GLE 400 just after striking the fire hydrant, traveling down the sidewalk, and hitting the telephone pole and the shelter.
The business owner who shared the video with us said he was horrified by what he saw.
“My heart dropped. Just like you’re watching a roller coaster, like you’re watching an accident on YouTube or something. You get that feeling where you heart drops and you don’t expect that to be in your own back yard,” Josh Kraniske said.
Cleveland EMS said the person who was waiting for the bus and the driver of the vehicle that slammed into the bus shelter, were both taken by life squad to MetroHealth Medical Center.
Police said the driver, 53-year-old Kelli Lyn Meadows, of Cleveland, was unsteady on her feet and was slurring her speech at the scene. She admitted to officers that she had been drinking prior to the accident, but refused all testing. However, the medical staff at the hospital gathered a sample from Meadows before she was taken to jail.
“Don’t drink and drive. Don’t drink and drive,. Stay home,” Kraniske said.
Zhao’s brother, who asked that we not show him on camera, said his brother is in the intensive care unit at MetroHealth Medical Center.
“We take it day by day, that he’ll be better tomorrow and better the next day,” he said.
According Zhao’s brother, both of them have seen up close the damage that can be done by drinking and driving.
“Both of us were firefighters, volunteer firefighters, in high school, and you just don’t think it could happen to you,” he said.
Meadows was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence and aggravated vehicular assault.