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Accident at school injures 18

Fifteen students, three adults struck by car at school in Los Angeles

SHARE Accident at school injures 18

LOS ANGELES — A 65-year-old woman trying to pick up her grandchild at school accidentally plowed her car into 15 children and three adults, trapping some victims under her vehicle, police said.

At least four of the victims — who ranged in age from 6 to 9 — were seriously injured, according to hospitals. The other victims' injuries ranged from leg fractures to bumps and bruises, Fire Department spokesman Steve Ruda said.

The crash occurred Wednesday afternoon when the car suddenly accelerated as children waited in lines to be picked up by parents at the Westminster Academy, a Christian day school. The driver may have mistakenly stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake, Fire Department spokesman Steve Ruda said.

"I saw smoke and kids lying around everywhere and kids lying under the car," said Jeffrey Arilar, 12, a sixth-grader whose three friends were injured.

Firefighters strapped victims to backboards and stretchers. They sorted the injured by marking "major" and "minor" in chalk on the asphalt of the school's playground, which also is used as a Baptist church parking lot.

The car's driver was taken to a hospital. Authorities did not release her name, but vehicle records showed the car was registered to a Kae Hak Lee of Glendale.

"This was a tragic accident, but definitely no criminal intent," said police Sgt. John Pasquariello.

The kindergarten-through-eighth grade students had lined up shortly after 3 p.m. to wait for parents in the lot between the school and the church.

Aga Austria, who had just picked up his grandchildren, was in one of two lines of cars picking up children when the out-of-control car lurched forward, he said.

"The first car in line took off real fast, tires screeching, right at the middle of a group of children. Some were under the car. Some were thrown up."

"Some lady out of control couldn't brake," said Sung Yoon, whose 6-year-old son, a first-grader, suffered a leg injury.


On the Net:

www.westminsteracademy.com