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14 injured after car crashes into home of Arlington Spurs

Our thoughts are with all those affected

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - General Views Photo by Jacques Feeney/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Fourteen people were injured, including four critically, after a car crashed into Ireland’s Four Courts, a bar that houses the Arlington Spurs supporters club.

Police reported that the car barreled into the sports tavern at approximately 6:45 pm ET on Friday. Local media reported that the car travelled 20 feet into the building before coming into a stop and catching on fire.

Earlier photos showed flames pouring out of the front of the bar. A video posted on TikTok shows customers and staff members evacuating the building, and another photo shared on a GoFundMe page showed the wreckage and the grey sedan that drove into the Four Courts.

Eight people were admitted to the hospital, including four with critical injuries. An additional six were treated on the scene with minor injuries and were released, the Arlington Police Department said.

None of the people reported injured were members of Arlington Spurs, the supporter’s club told me.

The structure fire was extinguished, and the driver is among those injured, police said. An investigation is ongoing.

The pub is also home to supporters clubs for Chelsea, Arsenal, Roma and the Minnesota Vikings.

For those of you who read the Hoddle of Coffee, you may be familiar that your hoddler-in-chief has written about this place on two occasions - on July 19 and July 21.

Since I started going to the Four Courts, I have always found it to be a lively scene with friendly customers. Many of them are on a first-name basis with the staff. Even I, newly-introduced frequenter that I am, was on a first-name basis with one of the bartenders.

I was last there on Sunday, August 7, after a gruelling workout in the heat. After eating my post-workout meal of steak and eggs and three Carlsbergs, I got into a conversation with the bartender on running. I told her I was training for a marathon. She jumped to pour me a glass of iced water and promised that when I walk in the following week, she would have an iced water waiting for me.

I read about this first on Friday night - around 8:50 pm - and immediately hopped in my car, thinking about the bartender and those people whom I talked with in previous encounters.

A little over ten minutes I parked my car in the Court House area, noticing a heavy police presence and an approximate third-mile perimeter closed off with yellow tape. The fire appeared to be well extinguished by the time I got a clear view of the pub, though a portion of the front was charred. The smell of gasoline still hung in the air.

The front of Ireland’s Four Courts in Arlington, Virginia, after a car crashed into it on Friday, August 13, 2022.

(Apologies for the wayward picture)

I remember a conversation I had with a businessman at the Fourt Courts a couple of weeks ago. He was in the DC area for his data analyst company and, after work, he looked for bars to hang out it. Every place along the street on that Wednesday night was quiet or empty, he said, until he followed the music bellowing out of this bar.

And as he spoke he wished he had found this place sooner. On a Wednesday night the bar was packed with regulars. It was also karaoke night.

Such is the liveliness of this bar that survived and thrived despite the Covid-19 pandemic’s effects on the restaurant business.

I had planned to watch the Chelsea-Tottenham derby this weekend at the Four Courts. And it is devastating incident to happen to a place that houses so many sports fans, so many members of the community who feel welcome whenever they walk in here.

Arlington Police said “building engineers evaluated the structure and determined it was structurally sound” but, for now, could not be reoccupied.

A request for comment was sent to Ireland’s Four Courts.