TERRYTOWN, La. – A car slammed through a wall into a room where six children were playing at private elementary school outside New Orleans and injured them all, one critically, authorities said.
Children were rescued from under rubble and from under the front of the 2011 Infiniti, said Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.
He said the driver, a mother dropping off a child at Stepping Stones Montessori School, "claims that as she pulled up, she thought she stepped on the brake but the vehicle went forward." Jamleh Hamed, 32, of Harvey, was cited with negligent injury, he said.
No one else was in the room, which he described as a large open space, when Hamed pulled up at a parking space less than a foot away. The car ran over parking bumpers and all the way into the room, only its trunk and one rear wheel outside.
Hamed was cited with negligent injury because the injuries were so severe, Fortunato said.
Mark Deane of Terrytown said the crash happened just before he arrived to drop off his son.
"The teachers were running around. It looked bad," he told The Times-Picayune. He said one child was underneath the car and another pinned against the wall. "They weren't crying; they were scared."
He said Hamed was "broken up."
"I see her here every day dropping off and picking up kids," Deane said.
A 10-year-old boy was in intensive care in critical condition Wednesday evening and a 9-year-old girl in good condition, said Cathleen Randon, spokeswoman for Children's Hospital. Fortunato said two other 10-year-old boys and two girls, ages 8 and 6, were taken to other area hospitals after the 8:30 a.m. crash.