Del Mar Heights accident prompts new safety measures


Del Mar Union School District board members expressed gratitude for the district’s swift response to a terrible accident that occurred at Del Mar Heights School on Friday, May 13. Board member Erica Halpern said it was a miracle no one was more seriously hurt when a car jumped a curb at Del Mar Heights around 2:30 p.m., colliding with people that had gathered on the sidewalk at the end of the school day.

Nine children and an adult were injured, including an 11-month-old in a stroller. The most seriously hurt victim was a 5-year-old with a broken thighbone.

“I want to say a special thanks to Principal Wendy Wardlow and the teachers and staff who were there when it happened. By all accounts they handled the situation with quick action and tremendous composure,” Halpern said. “From the teacher who literally jumped into the car to drive it away from a child who was pinned, to the staff who calmly moved the other children indoors and away from the scene, everyone did an amazing job.”

Halpern says the staff at all DMUSD schools train extensively for emergency situations and so do the children.

“It shows how well-prepared the district is for any emergency,” echoed trustee Scott Wooden.

Halpern said while this accident would’ve been impossible to foresee, she is appreciative for all the additional actions that have already been taken to improve safety at the school. The children are now waiting even further back from the parking area for pick-up and the district is looking to hire new crossing guards to assist during pick-up and drop-off times.

Del Mar Heights is also offering workshops for students who were impacted emotionally from the accident.