A female student was killed and 11 others were injured after a car plowed into a massage therapy school building near Baseline and Power Road on Friday.
Gilbert Police say an 87-year-old woman somehow crashed her car into a Pima Medical Institute classroom filled with students.
According to police, 12 people were hit: seven of them were treated for minor injuries at the scene, three were taken to a hospital and one person was killed.
Pima Medical Institute President Mark Luebke says the person killed was 22-year-old student Lacey Gruntorad.
"She was a beautiful young girl, she was excited to start a new career. I just think somebody who was really trying hard to go and do something new, it's been cut short for her," said Luebke. "Our hearts really go out to the families of those who were seriously hurt."
He says there were eight students and an instructor in the room when the
woman collided into the building. It is unclear where the other two
injured people were at the time. A witness said she was going about 40 miles per hour.
"She's been excited for awhile to get into school, to further her life and be ready for the future. She had so many plans," said family friend Brandon Sharp.
"This is tragic knowing that you come to school, it's a normal day, you don't think something like that is going to happen, and then your whole world is turned upside down," said student Trailee Schanan.
The elderly driver and her passenger are okay, police say.
Investigators are trying to figure out exactly how the crash happened. Drugs or alcohol aren't suspected to be a factor in the crash, but it's possible she may have had a medical condition.
The classroom was full of new students learning massage therapy. We're told they only started about three weeks ago. Grief counselors have been brought in.
Gruntorad worked at Starbucks while she was going to massage school.