4-year-old, 2 adults hospitalized after SUV crashes into day care center in Chatham. ‘My heart dropped instantly.’

Emergency crews responded just before 8:30 a.m. Friday at Raekwon’s Scholastic Academy, 211 W. 79th St.

SHARE 4-year-old, 2 adults hospitalized after SUV crashes into day care center in Chatham. ‘My heart dropped instantly.’
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A child and two adults were hospitalized after a car crashed into a Chatham day care center Friday morning.

Patricia Nabong | Sun-Times

A 4-year-old and two adults were hospitalized after an SUV crashed into a day care center in Chatham on the South Side Friday morning.

Crews responded just before 8:30 a.m. to Raekwon’s Scholastic Academy, 211 W. 79th St., according to Chicago Fire Department officials.

A man, 34, was driving with his 4-year-old to the center when he accidentally accelerated and drove through the front window, according to the day care center’s owner, Raekwon Neighbors, and Chicago police.

The child was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in good condition, fire officials said.

The driver was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center with minor injuries, police said. A teacher was taken to St. Bernard Hospital for evaluation.

The crash occurred before most children had arrived at the day care, and no children inside the day care center were injured, Neighbors said.

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A driver accidentally plowed through a window of Raekwon’s Scholastic Academy in the Chatham neighborhood Friday morning.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

“We’re going to get everything fixed ... and probably get some barriers up front ... just in case something like that happens (again),” Neighbors told the Sun-Times. “You can never guess that somebody is going to accidentally hit the accelerator.”

Trenisha Jackson said she was at work when a teacher called to tell her about the crash. She just started bringing her 1-year-old daughter Karmyn to the center this month.

“My heart dropped instantly,” Jackson told the Sun-Times. “When my boss told me I could leave I flew from 51st and St. Louis to 79th, and I got there in about 10 minutes.”

Jackson said she was relieved to arrive and reunite with her daughter but was terrified to see the car stuck in what she believes is one of the center’s seven classrooms.

“I’m just very thankful that all the kids and everyone is OK,” Thomas said. “I was told that that the 4-year-old injured was inside the car, and I’m praying everything is OK with him.”

Raekwon Neighbors, owner of Raekwon’s Scholastic Academy in the Chatham neighborhood, reacts as the car that damaged his daycare after a drive drove through it is seen in the background, Friday, April 28, 2023.

Raekwon Neighbors, owner of Raekwon’s Scholastic Academy on West 79th Street in Chatham, reacts after the crash into his business Friday.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

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The three victims were all listed in fair condition, police said.