Car hits New Tech classroom

Following inspection, administrators have been given the okay for classes to resume at New Tech on Tuesday

By Savannah Baird

Story last updated April 29 at 7:47.

Three charges, one car, one hole in the wall of New Tech. At 3:37 a.m. on April 28, Charles S. Baker II drove into the side of Madame Ondra Couch’s room at New Tech.

At 3:37, a car drove through the brick and concrete block wall of Madame Ondra Couch’s classroom at New Tech. (Photo provided by Jeannie Fugate)

“The first thing I thought when I got the call was ‘was it a student?’” said Madame Couch.

Baker sustained some injuries and was taken to two different hospitals. He will be charged with resisting law enforcement, leaving the scene of an accident and driving while intoxicated according to the Scottsburg Police Department.

The mural attached to the wall did not get damaged. (Photo by Susan Jerrell)

The damage caused to the room included a hole in the wall, a few lost board games and the loss of a Keurig. The car missed a water line and a structural column. The car also managed to knock off one panel of a mural on the wall, but did not damage it.

Following the accident, the driver crossed the New Tech lawn before being stopped by police near the square. (Photo by Savannah Baird)
Madame Couch and Mrs. Ashlee Hafer sift through debris the morning following the accident. (Photo by Susan Jerrell)

According to New Tech Principal Jacob Johanningsmeier, Baker drove in through the exit and went around the back of the school slowly until he passed the side of the HSTW building. He began to speed up and did not stop, then ran into the New Tech building. The hood of the car was in the building and his front bumper was left behind. From camera views, Baker backed up and then proceeded to drive through the front lawn of the building. From there he drove off of campus and was apprehended at the square.

Parent Debra Culley called the police after the car hit the building. After Prom had ended about a half an hour before the accident, so parents were still on the property.

A structural engineer inspected the room on Monday afternoon. Administrators have been given the okay for classes to resume at New Tech on Tuesday with the exception of Madame Couch’s room. Students may not enter her classroom until further notice.

“I don’t see us using this classroom for the rest of this year,” said Johanningsmeier.

New Tech students and teachers used any available space in the Main Building for classes on Monday. Political Perspective students held class in the Band room. Classes will resume at New Tech on Tuesday. (Photo by Susan Jerrell)

Monday, New Tech students and teachers used any available space at the High School That Works Building. However, if deemed safe New Tech classes will resume being held at the New Tech building. Couch’s classes will be able to be moved to the hot room in this event.

“I look at it as it’s just a room. It’ll be alright,” said Couch.

A crack can be seen along the left side of the opening. Mr. Johaningsmeier does not expect the room to be used the rest of the year. (Photo by Savannah Baird)

Despite the hole in her wall and red headlight flecks on the floor, Couch remains positive.

“I think seeing the force of seeing someone being able to get through brick and yet realizing the miracle that everything is okay, everybody is okay,” said Couch about how she is handling the event.

Updates will be made to the story as new information arises.

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