Former Student Drives Car Through Elementary Playground, $20-$30K in Damages

April 28, 2006 – Posted at 2:32 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- When you think of an accident on a playground, skinned knees or bruised elbows usually come to mind. But for one Region 8 elementary school, an incident that occurred late Wednesday evening has sent chills through many parents.

Hillcrest Elementary Principal Rickey Greer said it started with a call from a secretary and ended with a report from the Jonesboro Police Department.

"Someone had driven through the chain link fence and hit some of our playground equipment," said Greer as he pointed to tire tracks still printed on the grass, "So from there, I just gave them the information about how much it would approximately cost to replace it."

A late night drive for a former student, 25-year-old Courtney Hill, destroyed two swing sets, a bench press type bar and damaged two chain link fences. Hill's gold 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe demolished between $20,000-$30,000 dollars at the Hillcrest Elementary playground.

"At first, I was like 'a former student?' It was kind of a shock, but still, living close to the school, she was on her way home, I presume," said Greer, "I don't know from there what happened or why the car came through the fence."

Hill was charged with driving while intoxicated and criminal mischief. Luckily her accident happened when no kids were around.

"Hopefully we can get it replaced, because the kids really love the swings. I really hope that something works out where, either we get some new equipment in here by the start of next year," said Greer.

Hill's car was impounded and she was transported to St. Bernards Medial Center. She was released and then booked into the Craighead County Jail.