Caught on camera: 4-year-old among 3 hurt after SUV crashes into West Chatham daycare, officials say

Evelyn Holmes Image
Friday, April 28, 2023
4-year-old among 3 hurt after SUV crashes into Chicago daycare: VIDEO
An SUV crashed into Raekwons Scholastic Daycare Academy on West 79th Street in West Chatham, injuring 3 people. The incident was caught on camera.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Three people were injured, including a child, after an SUV crashed into a South Side daycare Friday morning.

A 4-year-old child, who was in the vehicle, was taken to Comer Children's Hospital in good condition, and the child's relative, who was driving, remained stable.

One female teacher from the daycare was taken to a hospital to be treated for cuts, as well. No children from the daycare were injured.

Chopper 7HD was over the scene just after 9 a.m., and officials said the crash took place about 8:15 a.m.

An SUV was inside Raekwons Scholastic Daycare Academy, which is located in the 200-block of West 79th Street in Chicago's West Chatham neighborhood.

Video footage from one of the daycare's security cameras shows the SUV pulling into the lot and then a parking space before suddenly surging forward and crashing into the building.

The owner of the daycare, Raekwon Neighbors, is just glad that no one was seriously hurt.

"It shows that a car came in from the residential side, which is the west side of the parking lot, and he didn't hit his brakes, and it looks like he just drove directly through the glass, like he might've tried to hit his brakes and he hit the accelerator," Neighbors said. "All the kids are safe. No one was hurt. None of the kids was hurt."

Some of the building's windows were shattered. Chicago police officers were on the scene.

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Divinea Franklin was among frantic parents who rushed to the scene after the crash. She received a call, informing her of the crash, and quickly went to the daycare to reunite with her 3-year-old son.

"I just got the call literally like 10 minutes ago, and my heart dropped, just had to make sure he was OK. His coat got involved in the crash, but we can replace a coat," Franklin said.

The daycare has been a staple of the neighborhood for over 10 years.

Neighbors said the area where the SUV crashed is where the children normally gather to start the day, but the day had not started yet. The SUV stopped in a classroom.

Neighbors said building inspectors were there later Friday morning; he's not sure if they'll be able to open on Monday.

Alderman David Moore, who represents the 17th Ward, said the building is structurally sound.

"The building department said even the part where the car went into, that part of the building is structurally sound," Moore said.

On Friday afternoon, crews removed the vehicle from the building, which has been home to the daycare for more than 10 years.

"He comes here every day. The teachers are wonderful. There's no issues ever. I've never seen anything like this," said Sarah Smith, a parent.