ROXANA — A driver struck a child’s daycare facility in Roxana Tuesday afternoon as children, who were playing on a playground there, told ghost stories and thought the sound of the impact was a twist in their spooky tales.
The driver complained of minor injuries and was transported to Alton Memorial Hospital, according to Roxana Police Chief Will Cunningham.
No other injuries were reported in the incident.
Cunningham said the driver of a late 1990s purple Ford F-150 was headed northbound just before 1:30 p.m. on the 500 block of Reller Street when he veered to the right side, swiping a parked Dodge pickup with two juveniles inside.
The impact deflected his truck to the right, where it hit Child’s Horizon Development Center, 500 N. Central Ave. in between two windows of classrooms where two and three-year-old children were asleep.
The man was taken into custody and the police had not filed any charges as of late afternoon Tuesday, pending a review by the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office.
“Right now it appears it may be misdemeanor charges, but it could be elevated to a felony charge,” Cunningham said.
Children were telling ghost stories on a playground at the time of the incident, which was out of view of the children. That caused some of them to think the crash they heard was part of their narratives, according to summer teacher Jamie Nash.
Most of the children were sitting in a circle listening to a girl tell a ghost story while another child sitting near Nash told her own account.
Then they heard the crash.
“They all just sort of looked at each other like, ‘What was that?’” Nash said.
Nash went to the fence where the scene of the wreck was in view and could see what had happened. Curious children followed, she said.
According to Nash, some of the children were scared because they had siblings at the part of the building where the truck hit.
Nash said she was glad to see others were helping the driver as she stayed with the children and within five minutes Roxana Police were on the scene.
Child’s Horizon Development Center Director Shirley Cox said she heard a considerable noise as the pickup made impact on the Reller Street side.
“When I heard it, I thought my air conditioner had blown up or something,” she said. “It was very loud.”
After the impact she looked out, made sure everyone was OK, and called the police.
In the end, Cox said she is glad her students are safe.
“We’re just thankful no one got hurt,” she said.
Brett Luster can be reached at 618-208-6447 and on Twitter @bdluster.