Near miss could force change for school

Call it a divine coincidence or just plain luck. Either way, no one was injured after a Huron man rear-ended another vehicle and damaged the Norwalk Catholic School (NCS) elementary school building Wednesday.
Cary Ashby
Jul 25, 2010
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Call it a divine coincidence or just plain luck.

Either way, no one was injured after a Huron man rear-ended another vehicle and damaged the Norwalk Catholic School (NCS) elementary school building Wednesday.

Robert Slattery, 74, hit the rear of a slowing vehicle while heading south on Milan Avenue about 20 feet north of the Marshall Street curve, Norwalk Police Capt. Dave Light said. Slattery’s 1998 Toyota Camry went over the sidewalk, hit a brick planter and ran over a small tree, he explained.

“That could have been a tragedy if there had been kids out there at the time,” Light said. “Thank God there weren’t any.”

Slattery’s car stopped in a court yard. “He was checked by North Central EMS and found to be suffering from insulin shock,” Light said.

The other driver continued south and stopped near the Whittlesey Avenue traffic light. Both motorists were wearing their seat belts.

NCS President Walt Klimaski was at the crash site just before the accident. He was walking from the cafeteria at the time.

“I was just there 90 seconds ago. It’s a scary thought,” Klimaski said. “I had just left Valerie’s (French) office and got upstairs in the high school and I heard Cindy Bleile said ‘Oh my God’ ...

“My biggest concern is if it happened once, it can happen again. We are awful close to that street and that turn. Gerry Faust’s message was right on the mark when he said the Blessed Mother was looking (out) for us,” he continued. “The Blessed Mother statue was not touched.”

Faust, former Notre Dame football coach, talked to the students Wednesday afternoon.

Klimaski said the NCS governing board had been touring all the buildings a couple weeks ago.

“We had mentioned about doing something there,” he said, referring to the crash site. “It has been talked about and has been thought about.”

Paramedics took Slattery, whose air bag deployed during the crash, to Fisher-Titus Medical Center. There was no further information.