Driver stable after being feared critically injured from crashing into Big Mill; 3 customers injured

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Updated to add photo at 9:58 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4; post last updated at 11:32 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5:

A driver suffered injuries that first responders believed to be critical after crashing into The Big Mill Friday night, but he was stable by midnight Saturday, according to Sgt. Drew Fennelly of the Lawrence Police Department.


Three customers inside the restaurant also suffered moderate injuries but did not require transportation to a hospital, Fennelly said.

Officers were dispatched to the crash just after 8:30 p.m. Friday, Fennelly said. A white SUV had crashed into the northwest corner of the building at 900 Mississippi St. The male driver was taken to a regional trauma center with injuries that were believed to be critical, Fennelly had said Friday evening.

However, in an email update at midnight Saturday, Fennelly said the driver was stable and his injuries were not believed to be critical.

“Impairment is being investigated as a contributing factor,” Fennelly said.

The restaurant building “is not structurally sound,” and the police department assisted Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical in clearing customers out of the business, Fennelly said Friday night.

In a Facebook post Saturday morning, Big Mill staff wrote, “Everyone is fine, but our beautiful 100 year old building took a hard hit 😞 we’re not sure when we will be up and fully running again, but we will be focused on bringing you carry out food and cocktails ASAP (probably Tuesday). Thank you for all your support!!!”

Ninth Street was closed from Indiana to Mississippi Street while LPD’s accident unit investigated Friday night. The road had reopened by midnight Saturday, except for the southernmost eastbound lane, which Fennelly said would remain closed.

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