Car crashes through school fence injuring 10-year-old student

Happened at Abraham Lincoln Elementary in Palm Desert

Car crashes through school fence injuring 10-year-old student

PALM DESERT, Calif. -  A 10-year-old boy is in stable condition tonight after a car crashed through a fence during recess at Lincoln Elementary School in Palm Desert.

The boy was airlifted to Desert Regional Medical Center and then later transferred to Loma Linda University Medical Center.

"I heard a boom, almost explosion-like. I thought it was a car accident right in front of me but it was a car actually going through the fence, flying up and just landing and skidding," said Kaliph Chenevert who was walking down Magnesia Falls when he witnessed the accident.

An 83-year old man, driving south on Portola, tried to change lanes and accidentally hit his accelerator instead of the brakes.

He swerved at the intersection of Portola and Magnesia Falls, crashed into a street light and burst through a fence at the school. 

"Some of the kids were out in the field at recess.  So the kids were out playing when the accident happened," said Jeff Kaye, Director of Security and Safety Services at Desert Sands Unified School District.

"It was some movie-type stuff feel, because I just didn't know what to do until I saw the other guy put pressure on the kids leg," Chenevert said.

Chenevert held the boy's hand as emergency responders arrived and airlifted him to the hospital.

Meanwhile, the school went into lockdown and brought in counselors for students and teachers. 

"Today was kind of traumatic for some of them so we put counselor procedures in place, and further counsel will be available to any students and teachers that were in any way traumatized by this," Kaye said.

Some parents are saying the accident calls into question whether the school should be responsible for making the barriers around the grounds more sturdy, especially along busy streets and intersections.  

"They need to see if there's another fence that's more appropriate," said Miracruz Ramirez, whose 5th grader was in the school when the accident happened. 

"That is not a very strong fence there to have around for the kids safety.  It's a safety issue," said Maria Angle who has two children at the neighboring Palm Desert Charter Middle School. 

School officials told us a they'll put up a temporary barrier until the fence gets fixed.

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