"They went flying with their legs up, through the air. It was horrible," Loretta Messer recalled. Witnesses say the crossing guard, her young son, and another woman didn't have a chance as the speeding Audi approaching the intersection. "I hear that Audi very loud, vroom, trying to run the red light, hit the curb, clipped that car there and plowed right into them," Messer said.
Police say the small SUV was going at least 60 miles per hour in the 25 mile per hour zone heading into the intersection. "There was this guy flying down the street, then there was a car in the middle. He hit the car, flipped over, hit three people, or I don't know how many people really were there but I saw a little boy just flying," Jorge Vargas said. The crossing guard and a parent who had just dropped her daughter off at Turner Elementary school were both struck by the Audi. The crossing guard's 11-year old-son had less serious injuries.
Witnesses say two men got out of the Audi and ran from the area. "I happen to see this lady chasing a kid down the street and he was running fast and she was running after him," Judy Shelton said. One of them returned moments later and claimed to be the driver of the Audi. "He did exhibit objective symptoms of alcohol intoxication i.e. he had alcohol on his breath and made several statements that he'd been out all night drinking," Antioch police Capt. Steve McConnell said.
Residents along Delta Fair Boulevard say the road is often used as a bypass during commute hours by those trying to avoid heavy traffic on Highway 4. Speeding has also been a problem there. "They're maniacs. It's horrible. It's scary. I'm scared. I literally say a prayer some mornings before I leave my house," Messer told ABC7 News.
This time, classes had started just moments before the accident. "We're sorry that there were injuries, but it would've been horrible and traumatic had students had been in the streets or on the sidewalks when this accident happened," Antioch Schools Superintendent Donald Gill said.
Crossing guard Dana Canady and another woman were last reported to be in serious condition at a hospital in Walnut Creek. Canady's son was with his mother at the time of the accident because he was off from his school in Oakley. Police also say it was birthday.
One man is now in police custody. The other, who already had a warrant for his arrest in another matter, is not. Police say the Audi was a rental car and Zip Car confirmed the vehicle belongs to them. It remains unclear whether the person who was driving it was the person who rented it.