December 26, 2008 in Nation/World

Driver loses control, hits Hanukkah party

Six children among 14 injured at festival
Associated Press
Associated Press photo

A car slammed into this building where Orthodox Jewish families were celebrating Hanukkah, injuring 14 people.
(Full-size photo)

WOODMERE, N.Y. – A car slammed into a building where Orthodox Jewish families were celebrating Hanukkah on Thursday, injuring 14 people, police said.

Police said the injured ranged in age from 1 1/2 to 40, and four were hospitalized in serious condition. At least six of the injured were young children, hospital officials said.

The families from the Chabad Orthodox Jewish movement were celebrating Chanukah Wonderland, an all-day celebration with events geared for children, including a crafts corner and a Hanukkah theater. Thursday was the fifth day of the eight-day Jewish festival of lights.

About 150 people were inside the building when a 78-year-old man lost control of his car and plowed through a plate glass window, Nassau County police said.

“He makes an abrupt left turn. It actually forces the car that’s parked along the side of the road up onto the sidewalk,” Nassau County police Lt. Kevin Smith said. “His car careens through several plateglass windows, enters the building and comes to rest after basically running over … several people.”

No charges had been filed against the driver Thursday evening, police said.

The Chanukah Wonderland event was sponsored by Chabad of the Five Towns, representing the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community on Long Island, and held in Woodmere, about 25 miles southeast of Manhattan.

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