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Car Crashes Into California Preschool, Three Children Hospitalized

Newsweek logo Newsweek 1 day ago Soo Kim
a plane flying over a body of water: A helicopter flying over Los Angeles, California near the Mt. Wilson Observatory in October 2017. © Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images A helicopter flying over Los Angeles, California near the Mt. Wilson Observatory in October 2017.

A California preschool and daycare facility in Santa Clarita, just outside downtown Los Angeles, has been evacuated after a vehicle accidentally crashed into a classroom. The three children involved in the incident, all aged under four, were airlifted to a hospital, but no major injuries have been reported.

The children and one staff member were in the classroom when "a school family member's vehicle accidentally struck" the building and drove into the classroom of the La Petite Academy in the Saugus neighborhood on Monday, according to a statement from the school.

The statement said: "This afternoon, a school family member's vehicle accidentally struck our building and drove into a classroom. There were three children and one staff member in the classroom at the time. Our staff followed our safety protocols.

"First responders arrived immediately, assessed the condition of the children and staff and took them to the hospital for further evaluation. Out of an abundance of caution, we evacuated all students and staff," the statement added.

The three children were transported to a local area trauma center via helicopter by the L.A. County Fire Department Air Operations Section, the department tweeted.

The toddlers were without serious injuries but were taken to the hospital for evaluation as a precautionary measure, authorities said.

Two air squads and additional paramedics were reported to be at the scene.

Another person, believed to be the driver, was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

The driver was reported to be a grandmother who had come to pick up some children, daycare staff told Dr. Allison Adler, a physician whose two-year-old daughter was among the three children taken to the hospital.

Adler was reported to have evaluated her daughter Shayna along with hospital staff who were at the scene.

Shayna's father, Steve Adler, said: "When it went through, it landed on her [his daughter]. They found her underneath the bookshelf," but noted she was left with only a minor scratch.

The two other toddlers involved in the incident, whose exact ages and names are unknown, were reported to be "doing fine," according to Dr. Adler.

Shayna was later released from the hospital and Dr. Adler said the parents of the two other kids told her their children will be alright as well, FOX 11 reported.

It is unknown whether the two other children and the driver have been released from the hospital.

The car was seen to be damaged, while the school building had a hole in a window area, according to helicopter footage.

The school stated: "We will remain temporarily closed as we further evaluate and address the damage. We will be exploring options to further increase safety."

The driver was cited for not having a license, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Witnesses reported the driver may have stepped on the vehicle's gas pedal instead of the brake.

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