Man arrested after car hits pedestrian and cafe

The scene of the crash at the Empire Cafe. Picture: Greg Macvean

The scene of the crash at the Empire Cafe. Picture: Greg Macvean

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A vehicle ploughed into a pedestrian and smashed into a shop front in a horrific early morning crash.

The victim suffered head injuries when the car forced him through the window of the Empire Cafe before the driver reversed out and drove away down Marchmont Road.

The driver fled the scene in the vehicle after the incident. Picture: Kaye Nicolson

The driver fled the scene in the vehicle after the incident. Picture: Kaye Nicolson

The 20-year-old pedestrian remarkably managed to stumble away from the scene before being rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

Police traced the driver and the car shortly afterwards, and he is due to appear at Edinburgh Sheriff Court this morning to face numerous driving charges.

Debris and blood stains were strewn all over the site of the horror crash, which was cordoned off by police collision investigators throughout yesterday morning. The window of the cafe was completely shattered, leaving the shop exposed to the street.

Polystyrene coffee cups, a soup kettle, CDs and smashed glass were scattered across the pavement, while a trail of blood led around the corner on to the pavement at Strathearn Road. Spots of blood could also be seen on the broken window blinds and within the shop.

I wouldn’t want to put a figure on the loss just now. It’s a total mess. I just hope he’s alright”

William Peattie

Shocked cafe owner William Peattie, 47, said it was too early to estimate the cost of the damage as he surveyed the scene.

Mr Peattie, who has owned the cafe for nine years and employs two full-time members of staff, said that police told him the victim had staggered away from the cafe and along Strathearn Road before being taken to hospital. He said his thoughts were with the young man, adding that it could have been worse if the crash had happened during opening hours.

“We sometimes have tables and chairs outside,” he said. “I just hope he’s alright.”

He added: “It’s just a wee bit of a shock, the mess and damage.”

The area has been sealed off by police. Picture: Kaye Nicolson

The area has been sealed off by police. Picture: Kaye Nicolson

As well as the extensive damage

to the exterior of the shop – including broken masonry and a smashed-up wooden ledge – a great deal of kitchen equipment will need to be replaced due to the force of the crash.

Mr Peattie said he was unsure when he would be able to re-open his business.

“I wouldn’t want to put a figure on the loss just now. It’s a total mess,” he said.

Within the police cordon, yellow chalk marked the route of the car as it left a trail of destruction in its wake at around 3.45am yesterday morning. It appeared to have mounted the pavement at the junction of Strathearn Road and Marchmont Road, hitting the victim and the cafe, before reversing out and then continuing down Marchmont Road.

Neighbouring cafe Toast was also closed while the clear-up operation got under way yesterday.

A police spokeswoman said: “A 32-year-old man has been arrested and charged in connection with a collision on Marchmont Road. A 20-year-old man was injured and sustained a non-life threatening head injury. He is currently receiving treatment at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.”

She urged anyone with information about the incident to contact Police Scotland on 101.