3 children injured when vehicles crash into day care center


By Brian Burnes, Christine Vendel, Robert A. Cronkleton and Alicia Stice

The Kansas City Star

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two vehicles crashed into a Kansas City day care center early Tuesday afternoon and injured three children, two of whom were pinned under one vehicle, police said.

The accident happened shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday at Christian Academy Day Care, 3611 E. 27th St.

A police department employee who was driving nearby and Good Samaritans rescued one child from under one of the vehicles. Firefighters rescued a second child from under the vehicle using air bags and the Jaws of Life, said Battalion Chief James Garrett, a Kansas City Fire Department spokesman.

It was unclear what caused the wreck. A black Range Rover hit a parked silver Cadillac and knocked it inside the building, which is on the east side of Askew Avenue at 27th Street. The wreck knocked a power pole over part way, leaving it tilting at a 45-degree angle in front of the building.

Approximately 40 children were inside the day care. Three were taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital, said Capt. Tye Grant, a police spokesman. The 80-year-old driver of the Range Rover also was taken to a hospital.

A Children’s Mercy spokeswoman described the children’s injuries as “mild to moderate,” and said none was life-threatening.

Firefighters stabilized the building with two-by-fours and other lumber before checking the building a second time to make sure all children and adults had gotten out.

Many of the non-injured children were taken to a nearby residence, where police helped keep an eye on them.

After her lights flickered and went out, Jessica Matthews, who lives near the day care, walked outside to see if other residents had lost power.

“Then about eight fire trucks went by in about 30 seconds,” she said. “I saw the EMTs take one child out, maybe 3 to 5 years old, and put the child in an ambulance.”

After a friend had called her about the accident, parent Keia Cox drove from Overland Park, Kan., to the facility while following the news on her phone. Her daughter had not been in the part of the day care center caved in by the Cadillac.

“She was back in her own classroom, thank God,” Cox said about 3:15 p.m., as she walked down Askew Avenue carrying her daughter, Kales Cox, who will be 2 in September.