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South LA School Staff, Parents To Talk Safety After Crash Injures 14

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Parents and administrators at a South Los Angeles elementary school were set to discuss safety precautions around campus after 14 people — including 11 children — were injured in a car accident.

KNX 1070′s Pete Demetriou reports crisis counselors were meeting with students and parents about emotional issues stemming from what police said appears to be a tragic accident.

The crash left two victims hospitalized in critical condition after witnesses reported seeing a car jump the curb in front of Main Street Elementary School at Main and 53rd on Wednesday afternoon.

Police said they have not found any evidence that the driver, 100-year-old Preston Carter, intentionally hit the children with his blue Cadillac.

“I’m really sorry about that. I wouldn’t do that for nothing on earth,” said Carter, who claims his brakes failed before the accident.

Four crisis counselors were on campus Thursday talking with children about the accident ahead of a meeting with staff, parents and LAUSD school police.

Administrator Rowena La Grossa said the meeting will focus on urging parents to get their kids to clear the area surrounding the campus more quickly using safe routes once school is out.

“I believe we’re all on the same page and we understand the need for students to directly go home following school,” said La Grossa.

One of the issues expected to be discussed is the presence of sidewalk ice cream vendors selling to kids after class — potentially creating some potential traffic problems near the school.

CBS2′s Kara Finnstrom reports the crash has renewed the debate over aging and driving that has reached the highest levels of the LAPD.

“As you age or as your parents age, you have to come to some conclusions about when it’s time to stop driving,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. “I don’t want to speculate on this incident, but I think this is an important lesson.”

The meeting is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. at the school.

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