Christian Academy owner sorting through mess after crash into building

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The owner of a KC daycare center spoke to FOX 4 on Wednesday.  She said she's still trying to rebuild her business, more than a week after an accident turned her building upside down.

“My worker was screaming for me, "Miss Dena... Miss Dena..." Immediately, I just see kids running one way, and I was running the other way,” Dena Washington, owner of Christian Academy, said.

The aftermath of a car crash that left the eastside day care in shambles has been described as a roller coaster ride. Three children were sent to the hospital with injuries. That was eight days ago and the daycare owner is still picking up the pieces.

Washington's block of 27th street is getting back to normal. It's easily more peaceful than it was on July 30. But Washington said she's overwhelmed by red tape, such as building permits and expenses. It's slowing the re-building and re-opening of her day care.

Washington said she was in the building, business as usual, until the driver of a ’99-model Range Rover plowed into a parked Cadillac. The impact jammed the Cadillac through the front wall of the day care center's toddler room, trapping children underneath. Police reports revealed that 79-year-old George Hatten was at the wheel of the range rover.

“It was just a horrible day,” Washington said.

Washington said she's been delayed in re-opening while dealing with building permit requests from the city. Washington said her insurance on the building is solid, but she didn't imagine the expenses she'd incur from this mess.

“I have my electrical person saying it's $4,000 and my framer is saying ‘With me, it's $6,000.’ So, I have all of these different components. I haven't even gotten to the carpet,” Washington said.

The Christian Academy isn't licensed as a traditional day care center would be. It's given a religious-based license exemption from the state.  Records from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services showed it's operated by a Raytown church called Victory in Praise Apostolic Ministries.

So far, its program director hasn't responded to our call for comment. Washington said her business model allows for 50 children. Police said there were 40 in the building at the time of the accident. Washington hopes to see them all back, whenever she re-opens.

“Some of them are just like, ‘I don't want to leave. If we need to give you two or three weeks, that's what we'll do,’” Washington said.

Washington said she's received calls from area churches as well as state agencies such as Educare, offering to help. She said her customers have reached out to her, expressing their desire to bring their kids back once her day care center re-opens.



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