As Oneonta Elementary School in Imperial Beach was dismissing students on June 16, nearby, a 19-year-old man lost control of his Chrysler PT Cruiser and sheared off a fire hydrant.
According to witnesses, the driver had picked up several students from the back of the school in the 1000 block of Grove Avenue. The driver’s 12-year-old brother allegedly jumped on the hood of the Cruiser and the driver drove forward, swerving from side to side in an attempt to shake him off. When the driver pulled into a driveway to turn around, the witness threatened to call the boys’ mother. The boy on the hood got into the Cruiser, which, according to the witness, then drove off.
“I don’t know how fast,” said the witness, “but it didn’t stop at the corner and drove right into the fire hydrant.”
Laughter was heard coming from the Cruiser as water sprayed 10 to 15 feet in the air. The three passengers, said to have been all sixth-graders at the school, then exited the vehicle and tried to blend into the growing crowd of students. The driver then tried to back off the hydrant, which caused water to shoot 50 feet or more into the air.
The driver explained to responding sheriff’s deputies that he was alone in the car and was cut off by a green car. After the witness talked to a deputy, he told her, “Ma’am, you just turned this kid’s story on its end.” The driver was taken into custody.