Van Collision During Field Trip Leaves 5 Children Injured, Including 4-Year-Old with ‘Significant Head Trauma

On Wednesday in California, a distressing incident occurred where a group of five children suffered injuries after being struck by a truck while crossing a street. The unfortunate incident took place in Pollock Pines shortly after 10:30 a.m., as confirmed by local news sources including ABC affiliate KXTV and CBS affiliate KOVR.

The victims, preschool students from Pine Top Montessori, were under the care of their teachers who were accompanying them on a field trip to the nearby park. Tragically, while they were crossing the street using the designated crosswalk, a passing van collided with them. This heartbreaking information was shared through a message on a GoFundMe campaign set up for 4-year-old Juniper Ammons, one of the injured children.

California Highway Patrol (CHP) reported that three of the children sustained major injuries as a result of the accident, while the other two had minor injuries. Local news outlets KOVR, NBC affiliate KCRA-TV, and KXTV mentioned that the van’s driver, a 21-year-old man, remained at the scene and cooperated with the authorities following the crash. Two of the children with major injuries, a boy and a girl, were transported to UC Davis Medical Center for urgent medical attention, while the third child, also a boy, was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center. The remaining two victims, a boy and a girl with minor injuries, were taken to Marshall Medical Center to receive treatment.

In response to this devastating incident, Pine Top Montessori issued a statement expressing their sympathy and support for the affected families. The school assured parents and authorities that they were in close communication to address the situation.

Among the seriously injured is Juniper, the 4-year-old child who suffered significant head trauma. Juniper’s aunt, Jillian Leach, provided updates on a GoFundMe page, which has already garnered an overwhelming amount of support, raising over $53,000 within a short span of 48 hours. Juniper’s parents, Catie and Trevor, have been constantly at her side since her arrival at the medical facility. The situation is a nightmare for them, as described by Jillian.

In an interview with KXTV, Juniper’s aunt, Allison Warren, shared that Juniper’s condition was stable, providing a glimmer of hope. Allison described Juniper as a radiant presence, someone who brightens any room with her warm spirit. Despite her young age, Juniper possesses a wisdom beyond her years, often surprising her loved ones with her insightful and heartfelt words. Allison emphasized Juniper’s enormous capacity for love, referring to her as someone with an exceptionally large heart.

Recognizing the financial strain on the affected families, the El Dorado Community Foundation established a donation collection for the victims through its Community Resource Fund. While acknowledging that no amount of money can undo the damage caused by the incident, the foundation hopes to alleviate some of the financial burdens faced by the families.

Initially, authorities stated that alcohol, drugs, or excessive speed were unlikely factors in the crash. However, they are investigating the possibility of distracted driving contributing to the accident. The California Highway Patrol is actively conducting an investigation, although they have not yet responded to inquiries from PEOPLE.

This distressing incident serves as a reminder of the importance of pedestrian safety and the need for drivers to remain focused and vigilant while operating vehicles. The community is left hoping for the swift recovery of the injured children and offers its support to the affected families during this challenging time.

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