Tampa, FL -- Two women were critically hurt when they lost control of their car and plowed into a Tampa day care center early Friday, just hours before the school would have been full of youngsters.
The car struck the Achievement Center for Early Learning, 4601 E. Busch Blvd., near 46th Street.
The owner of the preschool was grateful there were no children in the center.
"It would be a nightmare," said Vincent Hernandez, who owns the preschool.
Hernandez could still hardly believe it as he looked at the shattered glass and debris. A little more than two hours later, "I would have three tables in here filled with children," he said.
The very same room is packed with 15 to 20 children every day from about 6 a.m. until 6.p.m., he says.
"You would see a lot more devastation."
About 3:39 a.m., a gray Toyota Camry traveling west on Bush Boulevard when the driver lost control, crossed into the eastbound lanes, then smashed into the front window of Hernandez's preschool before flipping over. The driver and passenger had to crawl out of the passenger's window to get out.
Parents, who started showing up Friday morning to drop off their children, quickly realized it wasn't going to be possible, leaving them scrambling.
"I may have to call out of work now, because I don't have anyone to watch him," said Cynthia Pagan.
"I just basically have to go back home," said Cristina Reza, another parent.
Video taken inside the preschool at the moment of impact shows headlights approaching, then sparks flying as the wall collapses.
Police suspect alcohol may have been a factor.
The victims were both taken to Tampa General Hospital.
Throughout the afternoon, contractors worked to clean up the area. The building itself is still structurally sound, they say. Hernandez says he will keep the room sealed off until repairs are made, but he plans to re-open for business Tuesday morning.
"It's fixable," he said, "and I'm grateful that nobody got injured."
Tampa police later identified the two women involved in the crash as Haley Burgess, 20, from Tampa, and Candy Turner, 31, from Brandon. Burgess is in stable but critical condition, and Turner is in stable condition, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.
Accident investigators say there was evidence at the scene leading them to believe alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.
Hernandez says there are about 80 families who leave their children in his care each day.
He was already working with other local preschool centers just in case he was unable to re-open after the Labor Day holiday.
But at this point it appears they will be back open for business Tuesday morning.
Parents who want to check for updates on the preschool can call the Achievement Center for Early Learning's answering machine at (813) 988 -1999.
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