7 children escape injury when car slams into day care van

Driver leaves scene; crash reported at Learning Time Day Care on Cupples

SAN ANTONIO – Seven children escaped injury when a car slammed into the back of a parked day care van Friday morning on a West Side street.

Workers were unloading children shortly before 7 a.m. outside Learning Time Day Care at 554 Cupples Road when the car hit the van from behind, police said.

"We were hit pretty hard to where I fell over the seat, but luckily all the children were in seat belts still," said Crystal Tena, who was driving the van. "The owner lives down the next couple of houses. She lives down the street. It was so loud that she heard it. She ran over here." 

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Despite the way things looked and sounded, the children, ranging in age from 6 months and 7 years old, were not hurt.

Day care staff reached out to reassure anxious parents that their children were OK.

Mary Gutierrez, the center's executive director, said she's stunned by what happened. That not only was the van hit, but the driver didn't stick around.

"He did step out of the passenger's side and asked if everybody was OK. He was a little wobbly," she said. "And I just told him, 'Sir, I don't know.' I rushed back to call 911. That's all I know, and he took off."

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Within minutes of the crash, a woman showed up at the scene, telling police that she owned the car.

Workers said she told officers the name of the man who was driving. Police haven't located him.

"I saw the man, but that wasn't my main focus. "My main focus was making sure these kids were OK and not shaken up," Tena said. "The children are fine. Everybody's fine. Thank goodness for that."

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