8 children injured after minivan smashes into Alberta school
Published Thursday, October 25, 2012 1:44PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 25, 2012 10:09PM EDT
A minivan crashed through the wall of a high school in a northern Alberta town Thursday, injuring eight children, three of whom were pinned underneath the vehicle.
The van drove through a wall at Racette Junior High School in St. Paul, a small town located 200 kilometres east of Edmonton.
Two of the students remain in critical condition.
Fourteen-year-old Simon Chamberland told The Canadian Press he saw Grade 6 students running from the scene with blood on their faces, and thought they were fleeing someone with a gun.
"I was thinking, 'Oh my gosh, I hope everyone's all right and everyone's safe,"' he said.
The incident began at approximately 9:30 a.m. when the driver of the minivan veered off the road, crashed through a chain-link fence and slammed into the classroom. Photos from the scene show the van fully inside the school.
Police say the 46-year-old driver suffered minor injuries and has been taken into custody, but there is no word if charges will be laid. Police said the driver was “combative” as officers arrested him.
Following the accident, Michelle de Moissac rushed to the school to make sure her 11-year old son, Brett, wasn't injured.
"My son was near and heard all the screaming," she said.
Moissac said the van drove into a Grade 6 classroom that sits below ground level. She said there were about 15 students inside at the time of the accident.
"Everyone was being taken out by ambulance."
Glen Brodziak, superintendent of St. Paul Education, said the school was evacuated and students have been sent to neighbouring schools.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the children, their families and their communities,” he said.
With a report from CTV Edmonton’s Bill Fortier