Bizarre accident sends several local students to the hospital

Friday, March 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A bizarre accident in front of a Tulsa middle school sent two students and three adults to the hospital Thursday afternoon. KOTV's Donn Robertson explains what happened.

As workers picked up the damage, Tulsa Police said this accident in the Foster Middle School parking lot could have been much more serious. Soon after Jose Fernandez of Tulsa picked up his son from school, his car just took off. "The car just went, I couldn't stop it." About 50 yards later, his tan Olds Cutlass hit a red Dodge.

The impact, police estimated at 30 miles per hour, led to a chain reaction, a silver Corsica and a YWCA van became involved too. Vanessa Benson was in one of the cars and felt hopeless when she saw the tan car speeding at her. "I didn't do anything but cover my head because glass was shattering all over me."

EMSA took the three drivers who were hit, along with two middle school students who were in the van to an emergency room. Fernandez says his only option was to hit the cars parked in front of the school because he didn't want to hit any students. "There were kids on the sidewalk, so I didn't know where to go." Police aren't going to give Fernandez any tickets. They say they don't have any reason to believe he is lying.

Tulsa Police officer Carl Goforth says, "there is no reason to believe at all that any other thing happened here, other than his car broke. I think he did everything he could to keep this from happening." Investigators found skid marks showing the front wheels were trying to break as the rear wheels were accelerating.

Police say that fortunately students were on the sidewalk and not the driveway in front of Foster Middle School. EMSA says the five female victims complained of head and neck pain. A supervisor says the injuries are nothing too serious.