In an area where high school students typically gather outside their school, a driver careened out of control minutes before classes started Tuesday morning and smashed into the building.
“Luckily no one was seriously hurt,” said Harj Manhas, acting superintendent of School District 27 who rushed to the scene just about 8:30 a.m. to observe for himself what had happened.
Manhas said he was told a woman was driving family members to school when the car was T-boned moments earlier by a truck at the top of the hill near the hospital and she never regained control of her brakes.
The white Toyota Avalon travelled down a steep block on Sixth Avenue North, taking out garbage cans, crossing over the sidewalk, crashing through the fencing in between two signs, stopping only when the car’s front end broke through the brick exterior of the school.
At the time of the crash, there were students and staff inside the music room which is on the other side of the wall where the car was embedded.
Members of the Williams Lake RCMP, Williams Lake Fire Department and Emergency Health Services B.C. attended the scene, while staff members from the school consolled the driver and her passengers at a picnic table near the back doors.
Those involved with the incident were taken to Cariboo Memorial Hospital for what appeared to be minor injuries.
Principal Gregg Gaylord, who was at the Columneetza campus when the crash occurred, said it was quite a shock to everyone in the building.
“Like I told the students and staff, we are so thankful that no one was harmed,” he said.
It was the first time in his capacity as an administrator in Williams Lake that a vehicle had crashed into the school, Gaylord said.