SUV smashes into church playground

Driver tells police shoes got caught on gas pedal


SAN ANTONIO – A church on the city's Southwest Side is dealing with a pretty big mess after an SUV driver lost control of her car and crashed through metal fencing and ended up on top of the toddlers' playground. 

It happened around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night on the backside of the Life Church Assemblies of God, which is home to Valley Hi Assembly of God Daycare.

Police say the driver of the SUV, 37-year-old Yvonne Valdez, was driving down the 800 block of Cedar Hurst when she lost control coming to a curve in the road. 

She told police she tried to slow down, but accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes. Investigators believe the oversized house shoes Valdez was wearing got caught on the pedal.

Parent Michael Bailey is thankful the accident happened late at night when no children were around.    

"It could have happened right now and wiped out more than just playground equipment. It could have killed my daughter -- it could have killed a whole classroom full of kids," said Bailey.

Bailey's 2-year-old daughter Lillian has been attending daycare at Valley High Assembly of God for the past few years.  

He said he's worried another driver could crash into the playground again, since kids always play out there.

Church Director Eunice Grant said it will cost more than $20,000 to replace the mostly plastic and wooden  playground. 

She's not happy the accident happened, but she, too, is thankful the accident happened when no one was around.

"I understand there was a youth ministry that had used the playground maybe about an hour before this happened, so we we're so glad that they were able to get back inside before anything took place," said Grant.

The daycare center did send a note home with parents letting them know about last night's crash. 

Daycare parents hope an accident like this will be the last of its kind.

As for Valdez, she was not injured in the crash, and it's unknown at this time if she was ticketed.

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