2 charged in van crash that hurt 16 kids

HOUSTON - Two people have been charged in a day care van crash that injured 16 children and two adults.

Harris County sheriff's deputies said four vehicles were involved in the crash at 10055 West Gulf Bank near Sam Houston Parkway at 4 p.m. Monday.

Investigators said the Alpha Kids Center van was coming back from a field trip when the van driver, Conception Coronado, ran a red light.

The children and adults, including Coronado, were transported to a hospital as a precautionary measure. They sustained cuts and scratches.

Coronado and Darryl Freeman, the owner of the day care, were arrested and charged with injury to a child-criminal negligence. Investigators said they were negligent because they allowed the children to be transported without safety restraints and with too many passengers in the van.

The children in the van ranged in age from 6 to 12 years old.

According to Texas Child Care Licensing officials, Alpha Kids Center has been in business for two years without any major violations.

The state runs three background checks and fingerprints on every employee, including drivers, at a day care center.

"The rules are put in place to try, to the best of our ability and the ability of providers, to make sure children are safe," state spokeswoman Gwen Carter said.

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