Unlicensed student driver runs over beloved teacher's aide at Oakland High School

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A special education teacher's aide was seriously injured after officials say an unlicensed student driver ran her over at Oakland High School Tuesday.

Police say a white SUV ran over the aide. It was originally parked in a faculty lot.

"Just all of a sudden lurched forward -- went through a gate. The gate was basically on top of the person," said John Sasaki of the Oakland Unified School District. "And the car rolled over the person as well."

The person behind the wheel was not the owner, but an unlicensed student.

The owner of the SUV came here to drop off her sisters for swim class and then she parked her car in a lot, knowing it wasn't allowed. She left to run errands and left the keys with her sisters.

Then, they found out the car could be towed. They weren't able to move it so they gave the keys to their cousin, an 18-year-old without a driver's license.

"She didn't mean to do it," said the owner, who didn't want to be identified. "She meant to reverse, but she doesn't know the gears so that happened. She's really emotional right now."

But so are school staffers, who have identified the victim as Latanya Sanders.

"I couldn't believe it," said friend Marilyn Major. "I stopped my car and I grabbed my head and I'm like -- and I said, 'I hope she's alright.'"

Sanders has worked with special education students for years. She was outside, likely waiting for the buses that transport kids when she was hit.

"We're very tight and we're all concerned about her," said Driver's Ed teacher Bill Visnick.

Sanders is in critical condition. The teenage driver is cooperating with police.
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.