Several kids transported to hospital after wreck near elementary school

March 1, 2013 4:16:45 PM PST
A woman is facing charges after slamming her car into the back of a van filled with students in front of an elementary school in northwest Houston.

The crash sent 11 students to the hospital, but authorities say the kids suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Officers say the driver, Sonia Noemi Martinez, appears to have been speeding through a school zone, which is clearly marked. Worse than that, they say it looks like alcohol likely played a part.

Police say Martinez wasn't paying attention or didn't see the van full of kids in front of her. Her silver Toyota RAV4 slammed into the back of the van in the 1400 block of West 43rd Street, right in front of Oak Forest Elementary School.

"She also admitted to a fireman that she'd had too much to drink. So we had the accident investigators out here and she's been transported to the DWI intox," said HPD Officer Ricky Pedraza.

The kids, most of them 4- and 5-year-olds, were on the way to pre-school. The van was bound for the Eagle Achievers Academy.

"They're coming from a day care, going to school," said an employee of the pre-school. "It's supposed to be 13, but there it's 11 on that, but they're OK."

Police say the kids went to the hospital to get checked out, but none of them were seriously injured, mostly bumps and bruises.

"With all the sirens and police and engines showing up, they were kind of shaken up. You know, we had a couple holding their face, one was holding their eye, I guess where they hit the side of the window," Officer Pedraza said.

It was a scary morning for students and their parents. Martinez was taken into custody.

"I mean, thank God she wasn't going any faster," said Officer Pedraza.

Martinez injured in the crash. Charges against her are pending.

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