CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Two children were among those taken to the hospital after a car crashed into a playground outside a Chapel Hill elementary school Tuesday afternoon, police said.
Officers responded to the crash outside Northside Elementary School around 4 p.m. Tuesday. Their preliminary investigation found that a driver crashed a vehicle through a fence and hit the playground equipment, a news release said.
Two children who were on the playground and the driver of the vehicle were taken to UNC Hospitals. A third child was treated at the scene, Chapel Hill police said.
There were 20 children who were part of an after-school program on the playground at the time of the crash, the release said.
Police did not release the condition of those taken to the hospital.
Ebony Riley’s children attend the school. She lives across the street and heard the crash, which she said sounded like “a big boom.”
“It’s heartbreaking, sad, we’re praying for the families,” Riley said.
Toyia Compton is the parent of a fifth-grader at Northside Elementary School.
“No matter the child involved, it’s still someone’s child,” Compton said. “So of course my daughter, when I told her the news, she saw everything, and she instantly started crying thinking, you know, it could be one of my friends. I said whomever it is, just pray for whomever may be going through this.”
CBS 17 saw a GMC Acadia being towed away around 6 p.m., with visible damage to the front driver’s side and a deployed airbag. CBS 17 obtained an email sent to parents. In it, Principal Coretta Sharpless said a car in the parking lot “appeared to have been accidentally driven through a fence.”
The investigation is ongoing.
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School district said the students on the playground ranged in ages 5 to 9, but that it did not immediately have the ages/grades of the students taken to the hospital. The district said it will be keeping staff and families informed of support and arrangements that will be in place throughout the week.