FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — A 76-year-old man drove his car into a California tutoring center on Monday, injuring himself and five other people, including two who were trapped underneath the vehicle, police said.
Peter Hauk of Huntington Beach drove into the Tutoring Club in Orange County, Fountain Valley police Sgt. Kurt Ulrich said. Police did not say if Hauk was immediately charged or cited after being taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
David Hill, owner of Tutoring Club, which caters to kindergarten through high school students, said he was in an office on the opposite side of the tutoring center when the car rammed through the glass storefront into an open room where between nine and 12 children were brushing up on reading, math and other skills.
“All of a sudden, it was this loud screech, smash and screaming,” Hill said.
Through the window, a car could be seen deep within the building, its lights flashing. Drops of what appeared to be blood trailed along the sidewalk.
Hill doesn’t remember clearly what happened next, but he rushed into the next room. One of the tutors was trapped under the car, and Hill said he and others worked to try to free him. Hill said the driver spoke to him afterward saying repeatedly that it was an accident.
“He seemed a little in shock,” Hill said.
Police officers nearby responded immediately and saw a 2011 black Buick sedan inside the building’s plate-glass entry, which faces into a strip mall parking lot.
Firefighters extricated two victims trapped underneath the car, including a 20-year-old man with serious injuries and a 32-year-old man with traumatic life-threatening injuries. Both were transported to a hospital.
Two 15-year-old boys, a 67-year-old woman and the driver were transported to a hospital with minor injuries.
Tania Cort said her 15-year-old son was supposed to go to the center to get ready for the upcoming school year but he slept in.
“I’m thanking God now he was looking out for him,” she said
The incident remains under investigation.
Associated Press writer Tami Abdollah contributed to this report.