Woman killed when SUV crashes into full dance studio

By WKRG

WKRG - A woman was killed Friday when an SUV crashed through the front of a dance studio during a children's dance class in Alabama.

Several children were trapped inside the Sheffield School of the Dance, but remarkably were not seriously hurt.

Slabs of plywood now cover the gaping hole where the vehicle careened through the front wall, killing Melanie Petithory and injuring five others.

The blue spray paint markings on the pavement left by investigators to show the SUV's deadly path as it hopped two curbs and came barreling through the parking lot are still visible.

"I heard this loud explosion. And so I ran out to see what it was and then that's when I noticed smoke coming outside of the dance school. So I ran over there to see what happened," studio owner Theresa Hutchins said. "Then I saw the vehicle come towards me and I fell. And the bar, I grabbed the bar and it stopped my fall."

Petithory was active in the local musical theater scene.

Friends of hers say she loved to dance, loved her children and her grandchild.

Police said the driver of the vehicle may have had a medical emergency and they do not know the cause of the accident.