Student killed after elderly woman backed car into classroom


Lacey Gruntorad

A 22-year-old student in Arizona has died after an 87-year-old driver accidentally backed her car into a classroom.

The incident, which happened in September of this year, saw the still unnamed driver accidentally depress the accelerator instead of the brake pedal and reverse at speed into a student classroom of the Spa Pima complex in Arizona.

Lacey Gruntorad was attending lectures on massage therapy and had been asked to switch seats in order to better hear the instructions from the massage specialist but it was a move that proved fatal.

The Daily Mail reported that Gruntorad, who was seated at the front of the class, suffered massive injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene after the white Infiniti SUV smashed through the wall of the building and struck her.

According to the AZ Central news channel another student suffered back and leg injuries, while Melinda Keeling, the massage instructor, suffered a broken arm.

Police have only recently released a report on the incident that includes statements from Keeling who spoke of the "chaotic scenes" following the incident where students "rushed to each other's aid".

The report also said that the elderly driver had been consumed by anguish and had made suicidal statements following the incident, the report stating, "she repeated several times that she was thinking of that poor young person being gone now because of her."

According to Gilbert Police, the unnamed elderly driver also regretted getting behind the wheel in the first place; she said she was driving a friend who had recently suffered a stroke to collect medication from a pharmacy.

The driver also pointed out that she too was on medication for her cholesterol levels but investigators ruled that drugs were not a factor in the accident.

Gilbert police Sgt. Bill Balafas said three experienced traffic investigators participated in a round-table discussion about the incident and they all reached the same conclusion that there was not sufficient evidence to prove the accident was reckless, negligent or intentional.

The aforementioned factors are all essential to prosecute an individual for homicide, manslaughter or second-degree murder in the state so police officials decided it would be unwise and unjustified to seek criminal charges.