Mother in 4x4 ran over children on pavement outside Wandsworth school

·4-min read
Exterior of Kingston Crown Court (Martin Keene/PA) (PA Archive)
Exterior of Kingston Crown Court (Martin Keene/PA) (PA Archive)

A seven-year-old boy was “thrown in the air” and landed face first after being hit by a 4×4 which slammed into a group of children in south west London, a court heard.

Dolly Rincon-Aguilar, 39, is accused of mounting the pavement in her Toyota Rav4 and colliding with a group of eight pupils and parents outside Beatrix Potter Primary School in Openview, Earlsfield.

The mother-of-two from Wandsworth was collecting children from the school just after 3pm on September 8 2020.

She has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, saying she “went numb and lost control”.

Some of the children, as young as six, ended up under the vehicle after the collision, Kingston Crown Court heard on Monday.

A seven-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had his back to the car when he was struck.

Nathan Rasiah QC, prosecuting, said: “He was thrown into the air and fell face down.”

It came after people nearby heard the “loud noise” of a “revving” engine as pupils were leaving the school.

The green vehicle, driven by Rincon-Aguilar on a road with a 20mph limit, mounted the pavement and hit a tree and then a wall, the jury was told.

Mr Rasiah said: “To their horror, the car continued and accelerated to the school entrance where a group of parents and children were stood.

“It appeared that the car continued to speed up straight towards them before coming to a stop outside the school gate.”

He said that as Rincon-Aguilar was setting off from a parking spot, she put her foot on the accelerator to avoid an oncoming car, before applying the handbrake after hearing screams.

She told police after the incident: “I went numb and lost control.

“I don’t think I even accelerated, it felt like I wasn’t pressing anything.”

Mr Rasiah said: “This was an unintended acceleration due to a misapplication of the accelerator pedal.”

Some of the children ended up underneath the vehicle, while others were lying around it “having been struck”.

In a witness statement read out to the court, a parent of one of the pupils described seeing the car “accelerating at speed” and hearing a “really loud noise”.

It went on: “There was a little boy with his back to the car, it just went straight through him.

“He fell forward and went under the car, his head was by the front wheels and his leg was by the back. He wasn’t moving.”

One person said they “realised there was a loss of control” after the vehicle did not slow down, and accelerated towards the “panicked and screaming” group.

The statement said: “It was so shocking and happened so quickly. There was no reason for the car to swerve towards the pavement.”

Another parent told of seeing “lots of people under the car”, including a woman whose leg was “trapped and twisted”.

The witness statement said one person was “covered in blood”.

The court heard that Rincon-Aguilar was “probably in a state of shock”, with the parents and pupils suffering “serious injuries”.

However, the witness statements described her as being “calm” and seated in the vehicle.

Two victims had fractures to the face and skull, with one requiring emergency treatment to remove a blood clot.

Some of the children were left with “serious” fractures to the leg, arm and eye socket.

Mr Rasiah said: “This was a seriously bad piece of driving which fell far below what is expected of a competent and careful driver.

“It’s not suggested this was intentional and the defendant plainly didn’t set about the day trying to cause harm.”

The jurors were told the evidence they will hear is “upsetting, distressing and will invoke an emotional response”.

CCTV footage shows the incident lasted just eight seconds before the car, which travelled 35 metres, came to a stop, they heard.

Paramedics and London’s Air Ambulance were called to the scene just after 3.10pm.

Eleven people, including seven children, were treated at the scene, with four adults and five children taken to hospital while two children were discharged.

When the incident occurred, Rincon-Aguilar, who has two children, had held a driving licence from November 2019 and was insured to drive the vehicle.

She was breath-tested but was negative for any substances.

The trial continues.

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