Mom drops off kids, crashes into preschool

BELLEVUE, Wash. (KING) -- It was "circle time" at America's Child Monttessori School when the SUV hit, sending heads spinning.

"We heard the glass break and I was like, Whoa! What's going on?!" said teacher Matt Kebely.

Twenty-seven children were inside the Bellevue preschool, as the sounds of young voices and laughter turned to shattering glass and a roaring car engine just after nine a.m. Tuesday morning.

"I just panicked," said Katie Kebely, whose daughter attends the school. She was changing her baby's diaper when the SUV slammed the building. "It's crazy to think what could've happened if it was just a few minutes later."

The driver apparently hit the gas instead of the brake when pulling in to drop of her own children Tuesday morning. She crashed through the front wall of the building, drove through one classroom, smashed through another wall, across a hallway and into a second classroom.

The five kids in Matt Kebely's class all just happened to be on the other side of the room at the time. Matt was just moments away from telling one of the children to pick up some toys – a move that would've sent the boy into the path of the charging truck.

"It's just a miracle," he said.

That's just one in a string of fortunate circumstances that likely saved several young lives. If the accident had happened just 15 minutes later, all of Kebely's kids would've been right where the car crashed through. If this had happened during the normal school year, the second room the driver demolished would've been full of children.

Late Tuesday, workers were actually able to back the Honda CRV out of the building, allowing the owner to drive it to a repair shop. It was one more strange circumstance that had everyone at the school absorbing an unexpected lesson in gratitude.

"Angels were looking out for everyone," said teacher Lauren Wenham.

Witnesses say the driver was not on a cell phone and the incident appears to be a complete accident. School operators do not expect her to be cited for the crash and they hope to be open for classes Wednesday morning.


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