Over a dozen children were injured after an SUV plowed into a California preschool. Police say at least 19 children were hurt in the accident.
According to the Anderson Sheriff’s Department, Thursday around 2:30 p.m., the Suzuki SUV veered off-road and slammed into the building in Anderson, Calif. The SUV hit the Great Adventures Christian Preschool at Balls Ferry Road and Martha Street.
At the time of the crash, a total of 19 children and two adults were in the classroom.
Anderson police said, as a precaution, most children who were hospitalized were taken to medical centers.
Fourteen children were transported by ambulance, police said in a statement. Five other children were taken to hospitals by their parents, Anderson Police Chief Jon Poletski told the Redding Record Searchlight.
Poletski was unsure of the extent of the injuries. However, at least two children were taken to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento for admission to the pediatric intensive care unit, hospital officials later said.
The children were initially taken to three hospitals in Shasta and Tehama counties: Mercy Medical Center in Redding, Shasta Regional Medical Center, and St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff.
Investigators said the SUV crashed into the main area of the preschool, where their children were.
Because of the potential number of children injured at the daycare, authorities labeled the accident a “Mass Casualty Incident.”
Because of the nature of the incident, nine children were brought into the hospital as trauma patients, said Kenneth Luke, director for security and emergency management at Mercy.
Staff had to adjust and mobilize to accommodate them because it is so unusual to bring so many children in at once, Luke said.
In situations such as the one Thursday, he said, “We pull resources from all different areas of the hospital. We clear our ORs (operating rooms) to make sure that we’re prepared in case they have to go to surgery. We call in additional physicians to help cover. So there’s a lot of different moving parts that go into this,” Luke said.
Luke said none of the children required surgery at Mercy. Except for two, all of the children are expected to be released from the emergency room.
The conditions of the two children taken to UC Davis were not available.
The driver of the SUV was an Anderson woman, but police did not identify her. Police said she was determined not to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
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