Car crashes through schoolyard fence for fifth time this year
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A car crashed through a fence and adobe wall that separates the San Felipe de Neri campus from Central and Lomas over the weekend. This is the fifth time a vehicle has gone through that fence this year.
Principal Cheryl Robertson says while all the crashes have happened overnight, something has to change to keep the children safe.
Robertson has asked the city for help, and even the students have written letters to the mayor.
“Looks like they came up the curb here, you can see tire marks across the curb, across the rocks,” said Dan Mayfield, a spokesperson for the city’s Municipal Development Department.
Robertson showed KOB 4 the latest damage at San Felipe de Neri Catholic School.
“Crashed into the adobe wall and took out the iron fencing and broke the adobe wall into pieces,” said Robertson.
On Monday morning the damage was there, but the car was gone.
“By the amount of damage it’s my guess that they couldn’t drive away. That somebody had to come get them, that they called a tow truck, or they had a friend come out and tug them away,” Robertson said.
An orange construction net is still on the school fence from a crash that happened in September. KOB 4 met Robertson on the playground then and in January. We were there when a car had to be towed off the property right where children play.
Robertson thinks the ART construction where Central merges with Lomas has made it harder for drivers to navigate the turn safely.
“In 2018, 19, 20, 21 and 22 we had very few crashes reported at this intersection. And now in 2023 we’ve had a few more, so we’re not sure what’s going on. People are speeding through here right now, but for the last several years it’s been a pretty safe intersection,” said Mayfield.
Mayfield says they put up these barriers, sign, and boulders between the street and the school’s fence. But Robertson says it’s just not enough.
“I don’t know that they’d stop anything. They might slow something down,” said Robertson.
Mayfield says they’ve also added another traffic signal above the intersection.
“The mayor’s office, our traffic engineering team, we’re working with the principal of the school to make sure this is one of the safest intersections in Albuquerque,” said Mayfield.
Robertson says this weekend’s crash is proof more needs to happen because the risk is too high with 150 children playing there each day.
“It’s terrifying, absolutely. It would just be devastating to have a child injured because of something that we think could be prevented, that more could be done to help,” said Robertson.
The school is hosting a Turkey Bingo night November 18 at 5:30 p.m. to raise money for the fence and gate. For more information and to buy tickets call (505)-338-1841.
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