Church Hit By Car: Crash Could Have Been Worse

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SHEFFIELD TWP., Ohio -- A car with a driver and six children between the ages of 6 and 14 slammed into the side of a church Saturday.

Three of the children were seriously hurt. Alcohol and drugs were not suspected in the crash, which could have been much worse.

Services Sunday went on as usual at Broadway Assembly Church. People prayed for the three children seriously injured when the car crashed into what was a classroom at the church.

They gave thanks that the crash didn't occur when other children could have been inside the room.

"If that had happened today, yeah, that would have knocked into where we do crafts and have lessons," said Sunday school teacher Jessica Stokley. "Our kids color and do paperwork, and we teach them Bible stories and things of that nature. So yeah, it easily could have hit any one of our kids if it had happened today."

Police said the driver, Jose A. Guerra, 26, of Lorain, lost control. His car crossed Broadway Avenue, struck a mailbox, two traffic signs and then landscaping rocks, which were then thrown into the classroom when the car hit it.

At the time of the crash, there was a church function going on in the sanctuary. But the classroom that was struck was empty.

Otherwise, Pastor Matt Jones said the crash could have been much worse.

"Tragic, catastrophic and being that close to the gas meter it could have been worse," he said. "Other things could have happened, accelerated it, so yes we are thankful that the Lord was watching out for us."

Although three children in the car were badly hurt, church members said there is a lot to be thankful for, especially the timing of the accident.

"We're thankful it didn't happen on a day like today when we have a classroom full of kids, and we're happy everyone is OK and well," said Stokley. "Of course we have a hole in our wall, but we'll get that taken care of."

The driver was wearing a seat belt, but the children were not belted in.

For extended coverage on this story, click here. 

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