An 8-year-old girl was killed on Thursday when an SUV crashed into a private elementary school on a very narrow road in the Wimbledon district of southwest London, police said. The crash wasn’t believed to be terrorism, and the driver was taken into custody.
The girl died at the scene, Detective Chief Superintendent Clair Kelland said at a briefing near the site.
“Our thoughts are with her family at this incredibly difficult time,” said a visibly shaken Kelland, who is the Metropolitan Police force’s local commander for southwest London. “The driver of a car, a woman in her 40s, stopped at the scene and has since been arrested for causing death by dangerous driving and remains in police custody.”
She confirmed that the crash wasn’t being treated as terror-related, but urged people not to speculate as to what happened.
Stephen Hammond, Wimbledon’s representative in Parliament, said the section of the school where the crash took place caters to younger children between the ages of 4 and 8.
Police officers set up cordon line as a car crashed into a primary school building in Wimbledon, London, on July 6, 2023 (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
The crash occurred about a mile away from the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, which is hosting the world-famous Wimbledon tennis tournament. Unlike the grand slam event, the school is located in a fairly remote area surrounded by local parks, horse trails and golf courses.
Police have extended a large cordon around the school and television pictures from overhead showed the SUV, which appeared to be a Land Rover, up against the wall of the building.