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Parent driver nearly strikes kids on school playground, West Van police say

The same driver was caught speeding in a school zone four days prior

West Vancouver police are issuing a stern warning to drivers passing through school zones after a very near miss at Cypress Park Elementary Tuesday afternoon (June 15).

Students were just heading home for the day at 3 p.m. when a parent crashed their vehicle while looking for a parking spot on Morgan Crescent.

“For whatever reason, they accelerated and slammed through a fence, onto the playground where there were children playing nearby,” said Const. Kevin Goodmurphy, West Vancouver Police Department spokesman. “Luckily nobody got hit.”

The drama was not over there, though. In the process, the driver got her Mercedes SUV hung up on the fence and as she tried to back out, she punctured the fuel tank, causing 50 litres of fuel to leak onto the playground, which West Vancouver Fire and Rescue had to come clean up.

The driver, a 50-year-old West Vancouver woman, was ticketed for driving without due care and attention, which comes with a $368 fine. This was not her only recent run-in with the law, Goodmurphy added.

“It turns out the same driver was ticketed for speeding in a school zone just four days prior to this,” he said.

Reduced speeds in schools zones are there for a reason, Goodmurphy said.

“It's because children are especially vulnerable,” he said. “When you increase your speed, you decrease your ability to react to situations out of the norm.”

Goodmurphy said he hopes parents across the district will take note and be a lot more cautious.

“How you end up going through a fence onto a playground and elementary school is just beyond me,” he said. “It's just a hard reminder, right? We're so lucky that nobody was injured in this incident, so lucky given that it landed right next to a playground, and it was the end of the day. Slow down, pay attention to what's going on around you, and take care of our little ones.”