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Two employees inside were hurt, one of which was a pregnant woman. The 18-year-old pregnant worker was not hit by the car or debris, but twisted her ankle and hit her head trying to get out of the way.
The accident also caused a soda machine to topple over, hitting a 36-year-old male employee. LAPD Sgt. Bob Kirk said all the injuries were minor.
The driver of the SUV fled the scene, and it is unknown if she was intoxicated at the time. Investigators said speed was definitely a factor. Police said they have tracked down the owner of the SUV, but they don't believe he was the driver. They are questioning a woman who they believe was behind the wheel, and she can be facing a felony hit-and-run charge.
Ixsa Martinez, an asst. manager at El Pollo Loco, said she usually closes at night, but was scheduled to open the restaurant Tuesday morning. She arrived to find extensive damage to the building, and a gaping hole that has since been boarded up. The El Pollo Loco has been red-tagged, which means that it's unsafe for anybody to be inside the building. It's expected to be closed for at least a week or longer.
Employees are hoping to pick up shifts at other restaurant locations so they won't lose out on a week's worth of pay.