Mom shares details after 19 children, 1 adult injured when SUV plows into Anderson daycare center

ANDERSON, Calif. — Authorities say nineteen children and one adult were injured after an SUV reportedly being driven by an Anderson teen plowed into a daycare center on Balls Ferry Road in Anderson on Thursday afternoon, March 3.

According to authorities, fourteen of the children were transported by ambulances to area hospitals in the immediate aftermath of yesterday’s accident, while five other children and an adult were later taken to area hospitals by family members. Most of those taken to hospitals had minor injuries and were hospitalized as a precautionary measure, according to Anderson Police Chief Jon Poletski.

Speaking of the accident, which was declared a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) based on the number of victims, Poletski was not able to immediately provide details regarding the various injuries sustained by the victims. However, hospital officials have said that two of the most seriously injured children were airlifted last night to UC Davis Medical Center’s Pediatric Intensive Care unit in Sacramento.


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City of Anderson police and fire personnel were alerted to the crash just before 2:30 p.m. after receiving reports of an SUV that had smashed into the Great Adventures Christian Preschool and Daycare Center located at the intersection of Balls Ferry Road and Martha Street, according to Anderson Police Department.

Arriving at the scene within two minutes, law enforcement and rescue personnel found a blue Suzuki SUV that had crashed into the building, where nineteen children and two adults were inside.

Nineteen children and one adult were injured after an SUV plowed into an Anderson daycare center yesterday afternoon. Anderson PD photo

Officials immediately entered the heavily damaged building, where they found the injured children, including at least two who were found seriously injured and trapped underneath the SUV. 

Due to the high number of victims, officials at the scene declared a Mass Casualty Incident, at which time additional resources began to flood into the area to assist.

“These additional resources responded from the California Highway Patrol, the Redding Police Department, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, the Shasta County District Attorney’s Office, Mercy Medical Center, Shasta Regional Medical Center, AMR, and additional agencies,” APD has since reported.

Although officials have said that no fatalities have been reported or are expected, two of the injured children have since been airlifted to UC Davis for further treatment of their extensive injuries.

The driver of the vehicle, an Anderson female whose name and age have not been released, was found at the scene along with her passenger, and was cooperative with Anderson PD’s investigation.

She was assessed at the scene by an Anderson Police Department Drug Recognition Expert and determined to not be impaired at the time of the evaluation, say officials. She was later released without charges, pending further investigation.

Tania Halsey, whose daughter was hospitalized with cuts, bruises, and complaints of pain after yesterday’s crash is seen comforting her daughter at a Redding area hospital. Tania Halsey/Facebook photo

Tania Halsey, whose young daughter was inside the daycare center when the collision occurred, shared late last night, “I had no idea if my daughter was dead or alive,” while apologizing to any other motorists she may have cut off in her frantic effort to get to her daughter’s side in the hospital.

“My only info at (that) point was she was being transported to the hospital,” she went on to say, adding, “After losing my son at the age of 3, the thought of losing my daughter was unbearable for me.”

“She is mentally traumatized and all she keeps saying is ‘I don’t want to go back under the wood’,” Tania described, saying, “She has some cuts and bruises all over. She is very sore but is alive.”

“Please pray for all the children and the brave employees who work at the preschool,” she went on to say. “Hug your babies. Hug your family.”

“In an instant, life can change,” she added.

“The investigation as to the cause of the collision and the moments preceding the collision is ongoing,” officials went on to say, adding that as new information becomes available additional press releases will follow.

Anyone with information about this investigation or who witnessed the crash and has not yet provided a statement is urged to contact SHASCOM dispatch at (530) 245-6526 or by emailing the Detectives Division at [email protected]. Callers can remain anonymous.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Trevor Montgomery, 51, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and operates Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS), which act as stringer-news providers for other mainstream media organizations throughout the two regions they serve.

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.