Cops: Four kids hurt in crash at day care

A techinican photographes the scene at the Stepping Stones Child Care in Indianapolis, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009 after an sport-utility vehicle smashed about halfway through a brick wall at the center. Police say one child was critically injured and three suffered minor injuries when a SUV fleeing from officers following an armed robbery at a nearby store crashed into a day care center. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

December 3, 2009 12:52:19 PM PST
A sport utility vehicle fleeing police officers crashed into a day care center Thursday, injuring four children and an employee, police said. About 18 children were inside the Stepping Stones Child Care when the SUV slammed into the brick building on the city's north side about 12:15 p.m., Lt. Jeff Duhamell said.

Kara Hardister, who runs the day care, said the crash sent bricks flying into a room for 3-year-olds just before their nap time.

One of the four children was in critical but stable condition at Methodist Hospital, while the other three had non-life-threatening injuries, Duhamell said. A woman working at the day care center suffered a broken leg when she was struck by bricks, and another person was injured when the SUV hit a car during the police chase. Duhamell said those injuries weren't serious.

He said police apprehended two people in the SUV, one of whom required stitches to a hand.

Officers were chasing the SUV following an armed robbery at a nearby Family Dollar store when the crash occurred, Duhamell said. Police later apprehended two people, he said.

Tenants in a nearby building said the crash sounded like gunfire. The SUV remained lodged in the side of the day care more than an hour later.

Whittney Rutland said she raced to the day care center to check on her 3-year-old son, Armohni Preswood, after hearing about the crash. She ran through the police tape and found out that her son was safe and had been taken to another day care center nearby.

"I ran through there and stuff was dropping out of my purse," she said. "I was so scared."

Hardister said 40 to 45 children are typically in the building midday, but about two dozen were away on a field trip at the time of the crash.

"It's just senseless, just senseless, that innocent people have to go through this," she said.


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