COLUMBIA — Three children were hospitalized after a three-car accident Wednesday evening at the intersection of Locust Street and College Avenue. The children were 5 months old, 6 years old and 8 years old.
Two of the children sustained life-threatening injuries, said Captain Eric Hartman of the Columbia Fire Department. A witness, Chuck Jones, said it was the 5-month-old and 6-year-old who were in critical condition, but Hartman could not confirm this. The children were taken to University Hospital.
The children were in a red Ford Focus traveling south in the right-hand lane of College Avenue, Columbia Police Department Officer Brian Tate said. The Focus T-boned the driver’s side of a green Honda Civic, as the Civic pulled out of Locust Street heading south, Tate said.
A red Honda Prelude then hit the rear of the Focus.
The Fire Department responded to the call at 6:22 p.m. Nine people were involved in the accident. A man who was in the Focus had a bloody nose and blood on his shirt. The man in the passenger seat of the Civic had a scrape on his nose.
After the accident, Dena Muskopf* was visibly shaken. She had been driving the Civic when the Focus hit her left side. She didn’t see the car; she just heard the sound of the impact, she said. She complained of a shoulder injury.
College Avenue was closed from Broadway to University Avenue for an hour during the cleanup.
Edin Kajtaz, an onlooker who works as a school bus driver, noted that during his route — which passes through the accident area — he always takes care at the intersection because of limited visibility and the number of people using the center lane.