A driverless runaway vehicle crossed two streets, plowed through a backyard and came to rest after colliding with a concrete picnic table at a Helena elementary school Tuesday morning — just about 20 minutes before students began to arrive.
No injuries were reported, and no school children were in the area at the time.
Police received a call at about 7:24 a.m. reporting a vehicle rolling from a driveway on the 1000 block of State Street, according to Lt. Steve Hagen.
The car, a Saturn, rolled backwards, striking two fences and then hitting a swing set in a backyard and a mailbox on Highland Street. It then crossed the roadway a second time, colliding with a concrete table at Jefferson Elementary School.
Jefferson Principal Lona Carter-Scanlon said it was fortunate the table was there to stop the car from rolling before it caused more damage.
“Luckily, there were no students around. Everyone was safe, and that’s the most important thing,” she said.
The incident caused about $1,000 in damage to the car. An estimate on damage to the items it hit was not available Tuesday afternoon.
The owner of the car, a 47-year-old Helena woman, was cited for leaving a vehicle unattended without the parking brake set, a misdemeanor.
Reporter Angela Brandt: 447-4078 or firstname.lastname@example.org