ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The comforting atmosphere set up for kids at Hope Head Start daycare came to a crashing halt on Monday morning. Two cars collided at the intersection of Louisiana and Bell SE, a block south of Zuni, then both slammed into the wall lining the daycare.
“A few steps from where the car had wrecked, there are babies, little kids walking there,” said Judith Caballero, a teacher at Hope Head Start.
“Thank God we have the barrier here, the cement wall, otherwise both vehicles would have ended up inside the building,” said Karen Tapia, owner of Hope Head Start.
Tapia said both went to the hospital and her 14-year-old daughter, who was getting dropped off in the parking lot, was seconds away from landing there too.
“She literally had to run towards the door to miss the car or else the car would’ve hit her,” Tapia said.
The worst part, she says this is nothing new.
“Now, my building will be the third building I’ve seen smashed in,” Tapia said.
“We had another car, they wrecked here and the driver, they just got off and the car was spinning,” Caballero said. “The other car just took off, and they even had a kid in the back seat.”
KRQE News 13 covered a crash in the area four years ago, involving three school buses. It injured more than a dozen kids.
“It is really dangerous,” Tapia said. “It’s really bad.”
The problem she sees happens when cars try to cross Louisiana-a wide road, with a lot of fast-moving traffic.
Albuquerque Police said it has gotten reports of 17 crashes at the intersection over the past year. APD said it hasn’t gotten complaints from neighbors about people ignoring the 35 mph speed limit at Louisiana, but that the department can look into it.
KRQE News 13 took the concerns to the city.
“Whether it’s through enforcement to try to change driver behavior or if there is something from an engineering standpoint that could happen, we would certainly take a look at that,” said Wilfred Gallegos, director of municipal development in Albuquerque.
Daycare workers wondered about putting a stop sign or a signal at Louisiana to slow down that traffic, but the city said there probably aren’t enough cars crossing at Bell to warrant that.
The city said it has to look at the number of crashes in the area and what’s causing them, before it can decide how to fix the problem. They might be able to work with APD to crack down on speeders.