An amazing story of survival is emerging after a 70-year-old woman drove onto a sidewalk and into a group of children after school in front of Del Mar Heights Elementary School Friday.
Among the nine children injured, police say an 11-month-old child in a stroller was pinned beneath the car, San Diego Police Department (SDPD) confirmed.
Student Jacob Chen said he saw the child beneath the right wheel of the vehicle amid the horrifying, chaotic scene.
“I cried. My sister cried and many other dozens of kids cried. We've never seen anything like that before," Chen said.
The 11-month-old baby was airlifted to Rady Children's Hospital as a precaution.
Police say amazingly, the child is okay, only suffering bumps and bruises.
Parents at the school praised what investigators called a quick-thinking witness.
“One of the teachers had peace of mind to quickly jump into the car and reverse car because the kid was pinned. So really, smart, quick thinking by that teacher,” said Johnny Chen, whose wife witnessed what happened.
News of the crash sent parents scrambling to pick up and check on their kids.
Police say a woman was behind the wheel of a Honda Civic when she reversed, hitting a parked car. She panicked and quickly, the situation escalated.
“It was a rear bumper to rear bumper accident. She hit one vehicle and it appears she panicked and moved forward at a high rate of speed,” Lt. Scott Bender said.
Police say nine children, ages 11 months to nine years old, were hurt in the crash. Six of them taken to area hospitals, some with injuries initially described by authorities as "traumatic."
A five-year-old with a broken femur suffered the worst injury, police said.
The K-6 elementary school is part of the Del Mar Union School District. As a result of the wreck, Superintendent Holly McClurg says the district will review the dismissal process in the pick-up area in front of the school.
“It’s highly structured and organized.There’s one lane that goes in and picks up children. Children are typically called when their parents or guardians are here,” McClurg said.
The driver is not expected to face charges, police said, as the collision appears to have been an accident.