Car slams into class, injured student tells her story - News, Weather & Sports


Car slams into class, injured student tells her story

Haili recovering in Scottsdale ICU Haili recovering in Scottsdale ICU
Haili and her child before the crash Haili and her child before the crash

Haili Hill was a 20-year-old mother sitting next to a friend at a massage therapy class in Gilbert on Friday morning.

As she stood up, her life changed in the fraction of a second.

Haili's mother, Jo Hill, was by her daughter's bedside at a Scottsdale hospital on Saturday night.

"How was she so lucky" Hill asked. "If Haili hadn't stood up, I firmly believe there would have been two tragedies."

At the moment Haili stood up, a car came crashing through her Gilbert classroom, slamming Haili and her friend through a brick wall, pinning both of them under the vehicle.

Haili suffered broken back bones, deep cuts and a crushed leg but she's expected to recover. Her friend, Lacey Gruntorad, did not survive the crash.

Because of hospital policies, Haili was not available to tell her story. Instead, her mother spoke on her behalf.

"Haili was buried underneath the rubble, and the engine just kept revving continuously and the tires kept spinning," Hill said.

In all, 12 people were injured in the crash and seven were treated for minor injuries. Three others, including Haili, were taken to local hospitals.

Gruntorad was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say an 87-year-old woman was behind the wheel of that car. While alcohol or drugs were not believed to be a factor in the crash, investigators are looking into the possibility of a medical condition.

"[Haili] wasn't mad at the driver, but she doesn't think she should get her driver's license back," Hill said. "Haili wants everybody to know that her heart goes out to Lacey's family. She really wants them to know that."

The 87-year-old driver has not been charged with a crime. Gilbert police say the deadly crash is still under investigation.

For more on this story and other stories around Arizona from this author, follow Shawn Kline on Facebook and Twitter.

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