Car Versus 170-year-old School

Officer Rob Rayne was patrolling on Rogers Street tonight when a car sped past him in the opposite direction, heading toward the Concord River.

Rayne turned his cruiser around to stop that car, just in time to see it careen through a chain link fence at the Moody School, speed across a playground, and slam into the 170-year-old brick wall of the school. Rayne called for ambulances and firefighters at 7:50 p.m.

I arrived a couple minutes later to find this.

Trinity and Fire cared for the 17-year-old male driver, who is from Lowell, and a 15-year-old Lowell girl who was a passenger in the car. Both were said to have non life-threatening injuries. Police are now tracking down two young, male passengers who fled the car.

A woman who lives nearby on Astor Street told me she heard the collision and saw a man running slowly past her house as if he were injured. He wore a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt. I think police are still searching for him at this hour.

“He looked like he was hurt,” she said.

Rayne saw those two men flee, but his first priority was giving medical aid to the two who remained in the car.

Firefighters helped clean up a lot of oil, fluids and debris in the asphalt outside the school, where the neighbor told me kids play and have gym class during school hours. “It’s a good thing this wasn’t during the day,” the woman said. “The kids are always out here.”

The 1990 Saab convertible involved in the crash was stolen from a garage on Lawrence Street, but when it was stolen is unclear.

The Moody School was built in 1841, and to compare the craftsmanship from back then with the strength of a modern car, simply compare the photo above with the photo below, which is of the exact spot where the car hit.

Moody School Principal Roberta Keefe told me she went inside the school to check for damage, and that nothing was even knocked off the walls or windowsill.

Deputy Superintendent for Operations and Finance Jay Lang said classes on Monday will not be impacted. He asked Keefe to block off the playground until city crews could make sure it was clear of glass, debris, and fluids.

Police tell me the 17-year-old driver will face several motor vehicle charges, including receiving stolen motor vehicle. He was taken to the hospital and will be summonsed to court to face those charges, so police have not released his name yet.

The circumstances under which the car was stolen remain under investigation. It might be a very long night for the young man who was driving this car.

Here’s some video of a patient being taken to an ambulance, cleanup, the fence the car went through, the trail of fluids it left, and the car being towed from the scene.


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