'It kind of sounded like gunshots': Bartender recalls moments after driver crashed into building in Virginia Beach

The Bunker Brewpub after crash (April 9)
The Bunker Brewpub after crash (April 9)
VB Peabody's fatal crash (April 9)
Posted at 5:33 PM, Apr 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-10 11:25:32-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The co-owner of The Bunker Brewpub, Tom Wilder, says no one inside the restaurant was injured when a car crashed into a guardrail of the building Friday night.

Wilder says the car crashed into the guardrail outside of the glass garage door and says the car never came into the building. White paint is chipped off from where the vehicle hit the guardrail.

The Bunker Brewpub after crash (April 9)

One bartender working at the time of crash says he heard a loud bang.

"There was just a collision at The Bunker. I was bartending as we had a show and I heard the crash; it kind of sounded like gunshots. We quickly tried to get everyone out of here as we got through the back of the building where the show was," Ryan Sparling, the bar manager at The Bunker Brewpub, said.

Wilder says a fire marshal told all patrons to evacuate the restaurant.

"The police came in pretty quickly right after everything happened and started getting everyone to get out the back door. We had a little over 200 people. We had a show going on, so most of everyone was in the back because they were finishing their set," Sparling said.

At approximately 10:58 p.m. Friday while on routine patrol, a Virginia State Police trooper saw a Toyota sedan speed by his marked unit in the eastbound lanes of I-264 at First Colonial Road. The vehicle was clocked going more than 100 mph. The trooper tried to stop the driver.

As the driver approached the Oceanfront, passing Parks Avenue, the trooper deactivated his emergency equipment, but the driver continued east towards Pacific Avenue.

As the driver approached stopped traffic at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and 21st Street, the driver sideswiped several vehicles and then continued to crash into the building, located on the corner of the intersection.

VB Peabody's fatal crash (April 9)

The vehicle caught fire, and the driver, who was the only person in the vehicle, died upon impact.

Vehicle crashes into Virginia Beach bar, restaurant

Police identified the driver as 28-year-old Andy Lee Curry, a Virginia Beach resident.

Three Virginia Beach Police officers tried to rescue the driver after the crash; the officers suffered smoke inhalation.

Two pedestrians were hit by flying debris. One was taken to the hospital, and the other refused treatment.

The crash was a chaotic moment in an otherwise quiet College Beach Weekend, which has been a lot less crowded compared to the events of years' past. Business owners along the Oceanfront told News 3 they were expecting to see more people this weekend.