By Mary O’KEEFE
On Friday night at approximately 7 p.m. a vehicle came inches away from plowing through the front entrance of Robbin’s Nest Preschool and Kindergarten in the 2900 block of Honolulu Avenue.
According to witness Rosalie Lukban, director of the school, the incident was not simply a traffic collision but actually started with reports of a driver who appeared to be under the influence at Trader Joe’s in the 2400 block of Honolulu Avenue.
“I came out of the school and saw the car in the middle of the street,” Lukban said.
The vehicle, a silver four-door sedan, was facing west and was stopped in the center lane of Honolulu Avenue just west of the school. To Lukban it appeared civilians were talking to the male driver when he just drove away. In an apparent attempt to flee the area he turned around, heading east then hit the curb in front of Robbin’s Nest and came to a stop with the front of the vehicle facing east near the front entrance to the school.
“If it wasn’t for those bushes the car could have hit the building,” Lukban said.
The vehicle ran into some decorative vegetation in front of the school.
CVW has contacted GPD for more information on the circumstances of the accident and apparent DUI arrest; however, the report concerning the incident had not been completed and no information was available, according to Sgt. Victor Jackson.
This is not the first accident at the school in recent months. In September a driver who was attempting a U-turn nearby lost control of her vehicle, hit a Tesla that had been parked in front of Robbin’s Nest and careened into the front of the school. The vehicle had crashed into the restroom that was located in the front of the building.
“Thank goodness no one got hurt,” Lukban said.
The entire room and front wall of the building had to be repaired, including the newly planted vegetation that the vehicle on Friday night crushed.
Lukban had written a letter and spoke to the City asking it to help with the traffic issues in front of her school.
“They drive so fast coming from that curve,” she said.
The curve at Pennsylvania Avenue curves into Honolulu Avenue. Speeding along this downhill curve has been an issue for a long time; however, Lukban said the traffic has been getting worse.
The La Crescenta Avenue Rehabilitation Project that was recently approved will reduce the number of lanes from two in each direction to one. Lukban does not think this will help with the speeding issue.
The vehicles may come down Pennsylvania and then encounter a reduced number of lanes, which may cause additional traffic issues very near Robbin’s Nest.
She is asking the City to add signage indicating the school or some type of reduction in the speed limit or perhaps flashing lights that may slow down drivers.
“What would have happened if kids were out here during these accidents?” Lukban asked.
She, along with her students, wrote another letter to Mayor Ardy Kassakhian yesterday in hopes that something can be done before another accident occurs.