The survival of a 2-year-old boy, who was pinned beneath a car that careened through his day care center Thursday, is being called a miracle.
The cause of the crash is still being investigated, but it appears as though the unidentified driver, a 38-year-old woman, suffered a “medical situation” behind the wheel and lost control of her car.
Her Subaru Outback crashed into the A Brighter Rainbow Learning Center in Billerica, Mass., destroying it and injuring four kids and two teachers. All of the injuries were minor.
“It’s almost a miracle that no one was killed based on the speed and the impact,” Billerica Police Deputy Chief Roy Frost told The Boston Globe. “I’m just astounded.”
At the time of the crash, four children were inside the building and three others were outside playing.
“I couldn’t believe what I just saw,” witness Kathleen Jones told CBS News after the crash. “There was dust, and there was broken glass and people screaming.”
The most remarkable story to come out of the day care center crash is the one Michael Madigan has told, of the little boy who was pinned beneath the car but lived.
— Billerica Minuteman (@BMinuteman) April 29, 2016
After the out-of-control car smashed through a brick wall and crashed right into the building itself, Madigan started to pick up toddlers from the wreckage and hand them to people lined up behind him. Then he heard someone scream, “He’s under there! He’s under there!”
He picked his way through the debris to the crashed car and peered underneath; the vehicle was perched atop a pile of broken bricks, glass, and children’s toys. Madigan pushed these aside and found the 22-month-old boy, his face covered in blood.
“I’m here to help,” he told the child. “You’ll be OK.”
The boy had been pinned beneath the car, but because he was so small, he managed to avoid being crushed. He suffered a gash on his head, but otherwise, he was unharmed. He was taken to a hospital nearby and as of Friday, was still there recovering from his harrowing experience.
Two other kids were treated at the day care center, WCVB added. Everyone else who was injured in the crash suffered only minor bumps and bruises.
Meanwhile, two young members of Madigan’s youth group, Tyler Tremblay and Joshua Dejesus, both 17, were assisting the driver of the crashed car. They were across the street at the time and rushed to the woman’s aid; they said she was sobbing and seemed dazed.
So scary! I hope our friends at A Brighter Rainbow Learning Center in Billerica are all OK. https://t.co/T2lm62Kmxh
— Lowell Macaroni Kid (@MacKidLowell) April 29, 2016
As they led her outside, her first question was, “Are the kids OK?”
She wasn’t seriously injured either and was hospitalized; no charges were filed. A witness has corroborated the theory that she had a medical emergency behind the wheel. Mark Chen was leaving a nearby parking lot when her vehicle nearly hit his. He said the driver was slumped in her seat and didn’t have her hands on the steering wheel.
Police said the woman was distraught after the crash and had been driving north when she evidently suffered some kind of medical emergency, which wasn’t specified.
Security footage revealed the harrowing sight: the car leaving the road, driving over a patch of mulch and barely missing Chen’s truck, hitting several cars parked on the shoulder, then a mile-marker sign and a fence before smashing into a rock and then flying into the air, heading towards the day care center.
The car smashed into a brick wall with enough speed that it destroyed it and the day care center itself, which has been declared structurally unsound.
“It hit that rock and went airborne,” Jones recalled. “The sound and the screams, I’ll never forget it for the rest of my life. I was terrified.”
[Photo By Pavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock]