Francis Howell Central High School closes after student crashes car into building

COTTLEVILLE, Mo. -  A Francis Howell Central High School student is in police custody after driving a vehicle through the entrance of the school building early Wednesday morning.

The call came in around 3:45 a.m. The district then immediately made the decision to cancel school at the facility.

Francis Howell school officials via twitter said: "Due to a facility accident, school will not be held at Francis Howell Central High School today, April 24, 2019. Check your email later today for more information".

Officials said the boy drove a Ford Flex through the double glass doors. The student driver was not injured and was able to walk away from the crash. Cottleville police said the student was treated at a local hospital and his case will be turned over to juvenile authorities.

Corky Riley has known the boy and his family for several years.

“He always seemed like a quiet, respectful kid," Riley said. "Never had any problems with him. I hope he’s okay.”

The crash damaged the doors an important piece of school security equipment.

“We have a safety vestibule here in the front of the building so during the school day these doors are locked and all the visitors have to be buzzed in,” said school district spokesman Matt Deichmann.

The fire marshall inspected the building and declared it structurally sound so classes will resume as scheduled on Thursday. The district has requested the state allow students to miss the day of school without needing a make-up date.

“That will be up to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education," Deichmann said. "They are the final judge to determine if that day will be made up.”

The crash left behind shattered glass and twisted metal in the front entrance. A school spokesperson said they'll board up the main entrance and repair the area at a later date. In the meantime, students will use the gym/theater entrance to enter the building.

As for the driver’s motive, it’s still unknown.

“He’s a real quiet kid. You never know what’s going on with young people these days and the stress and social media and all kinds of stuff, you just never really know about anybody," Riley said. "I pray that he gets better.”

The entire junior class was scheduled to take the ACT test Wednesday. A make-up date is being scheduled but it may not happen until the fall.


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