(KMOV.com) – According to St. Louis County police there was a major accident in north St. Louis County Tuesday afternoon.
The accident occurred at the corner of Shepley Drive and Renfrew Drive just after 3 p.m.. According to authorities, three children were walking home from school when they were struck by a vehicle.
Officers report two River Gardens High School students, age 17 and 18, were walking home with a 5-year-old Glasgow Elementary student who is believed to be one of their siblings.
Police say the driver, a 19-year-old male, struck the two high school students while trying to make a left turn at the intersection.
The whole incident happened in front of an officer, who pulled in front of the car after the driver struck the students. When the officer got out of the cruiser, the driver tried to flee the scene.
He reportedly threw the car in reverse, accelerating to roughly 50 miles per hour before flipping his car.
The two students that were struck by the vehicle were taken to St. Louis Children's Hospital, and listed in Level 3 Serious Condition. Their injuries are not believed to be life threatening.
Residents in the neighborhood said what happened Tuesday has been six months in the making. Cassandra Barnes, who lives in the neighborhood, said the drive has been speeding everywhere he goes.
“We asked him ‘why are you driving like this?’ Kids are out here playing- my daughter, your brother and sister are out here playing,” she said. “He said, ‘Well this is the way I drive.’”
Barnes said she complained to cops before about him but got nowhere.
“They say, ‘well just get the license plate,’” Barnes told News 4. “But they were [temporary] so I just blew it off because I felt nothing will get done.”
According to St. Louis County Police Captain Troy Doyle, the driver’s bad habits weren’t just speeding.
“I do know that this suspect tried to flee one of our officers several weeks ago,” he said.
Officers tried pulling him over for a traffic violation but he fled.
Neighbors said later that night they saw him being arrested but cops never took his car away.
“When they locked him up the first time he shouldn’t have been able to drive,” Barnes said. “Everybody deserves a second chance, but this could have been avoided.”
The driver was also hospitalized, and was listed in Level 2 Serious Condition which is considered more severe, though he is also expected to survive.
Police have not released the name of the driver, but do say he is 19 years old and will be arrested when he is released from the hospital.