AURORA, Colo. -- Two children and a woman suffered minor injuries after a car crashed into Bright Stars Child Care on Wednesday, the Aurora Police Department said.
Police said the incident began as a reported two-vehicle hit-and-run crash in the area of East Yale Avenue and South Parker Road.
Police said the suspect, Neco Benson, fled on Parker Road before turning onto South Havana Street. He eventually turned into a parking lot and hit a parked car before losing control and smashing into the day care at Havana and East Mississippi Avenue.
“I heard this huge bang and a car came right through my office, through the lobby and into the infant room,” owner Masroor Farooki said.
There were 35 children inside the day care facility when the crash occurred. Seven babies were in the infant room where the car came to rest, but none was directly hit.
Farooki said the facility immediately went into an emergency drill that it practices regularly.
“We all did a headcount, we all grabbed the contact information and all that sort of stuff, ran out and then started calling [parents],” Farooki said.
Despite the damage to the building, Farooki and his wife feel lucky. They only had half the number of students Wednesday they normally do and when the car crashed into the infant room, all of the babies were out of their cribs.
Plus, the driver hit the building at an angle, missing Farooki, who was sitting in his front office, by 3 feet.
“He came in at an angle. He didn’t come straight through. If he did I probably wouldn’t be here talking about this,” he said.
Everything they lost Wednesday can be replaced.
“It’s a horrible thing that happened, but it’s the best of the worst things that could have happened,” Farooki said.
All of the children who attend Bright Starts will be temporarily moved to a second location the Farookis own.
Bright Stars has been caring for children in Aurora for nine years. It estimates it will take about a month to clean up the damage and reopen.
“We’ll be opening this again. This is a great center. We love it we’ve had it for a long time. We’re not gonna let this one go,” Farooki said.
No other injuries were reported. The two children and adult staff member were released from the hospital Wednesday night.
Police said Benson was arrested on vehicular eluding, possession of a controlled substance, driving while under the influence of drugs, reckless driving and reckless endangerment.
He is being held on a $50,000 bond.