Dec. 5, 2013
UPDATE 12 PM
The Albemarle County Police Department sent out the following tweet at 11:52 a.m.
Suspect has been identified in the crash at Broadus Wood Elementary School. Charges are pending.— AlbemarleCoPolice (@AlbemarleCoPD) December 5, 2013
UPDATED: 11:47 AM
It was rude awakening Thursday morning for staff at Broadus Wood Elementary School. A car crashed into the building overnight, the driver apparently leaving the vehicle behind.
Police and fire crews arrived on scene shortly after 6:30 a.m. Investigators took the car to examine it and determine who the driver was.
"At this time we are not sure who the owner is. We are still looking into that," said Albemarle County Assistant Fire Marshall Robbie Gilmer.
The crash's impact was brutal enough to deploy the car's airbags, and break through the school's wall, littering a classroom with dust and debris.
"There was some pretty significant damage to the front wall. We do have a lot of brick and block that was busted into the classroom. We probably have a two foot intrusion into the wall," Gilmer said.
Staff at Broadus Wood Elementary School says while events like this don't happen often, all schools in Albemarle County have crisis plans.
"The work to get the students in safely and have the day underway started well before anyone arrived here at the school," said Assistant Superintendent Matthew Haas.
Crews examined the building and determined it was safe for school to be held, except for the classroom directly impacted. The fourth grade glass was held in another part of the building. Officials say communication was essential to ensuring a safe and instructive day for students.
"We put two Blackboard Connect messages to parents this morning to let them know that the operations of the school had been impacted," Haas said. "Then a second message went out to let parents know the building was safe to occupy, and that we would be able to proceed with the school day."
While students learned in school, investigators also hope to learn more about the accident.