Thursday, March 16, 2006

Car veers onto sidewalk, kills teacher

A car veered onto a sidewalk Wednesday, killing a teacher and injuring seven young students. The driver told police the crash happened when a passenger grabbed the steering wheel during an argument.

The students, whose ages ranged from 10 to 13, had just left a nearby school when the car barreled onto the sidewalk about 3 p.m., said police Lt. Chris Maddox. All seven children were taken to hospitals. Their conditions were not immediately available.

Police couldn't immediately locate the passenger and were trying to verify the account of the driver, who was detained for questioning.

A witness said he was leaving work in the suburb just southwest of Los Angeles, California, when he heard screeching tires. He said a woman he believed to be the driver tried to leave the scene but he stopped her.

"I looked across the street and I saw bodies flying, and the car literally pivoted around and came to a stop," Tennyson Collins told KCAL-TV.

Collins said the a woman climbed out the driver's side window and began to run. He said he chased her.

"At first she said, 'I wasn't the driver.' And I said, 'You were in the car. You need to come back as a witness,' " Collins said.

The woman told Collins she couldn't go back.

"She said she had a 2-year-old child, and she was going to jail and was really scared," Collins said.

Police identified the teacher as a woman who worked at Turning Point School, a private school that enrolls students from kindergarten through eighth grade.

A distraught woman who answered the phone at the school declined to identify the teacher or discuss the accident.



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