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Driver won’t be charged

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Police will not charge the driver of the mini van that crashed into Quemazon Montessori School last month

By Carol A. Clark

Police will not charge the driver of the mini van that crashed into Quemazon Montessori School last month.

“She told us her brakes failed and she was unable to avoid hitting the school,” Los Alamos Police Capt. Randy Foster said. “The vehicle was so heavily damaged that we can’t determine one way or the other what happened.”

Dorota Listwan, 42, of Los Alamos apparently lost control of her 1996 Dodge Caravan at about 3:30 p.m. March 25 and plowed into the front of the school building before bursting into flames.

Listwan, her two sons riding in the mini van and the approximately 40 students attending the school were uninjured. The students were at recess and just three employees were inside the school when the vehicle tore through the building’s front wall. Those employees also were uninjured.

Atomic City Transit transported the students and staff to the Pueblo Complex where the students were reunited with their parents.

The mini van reportedly sheared a gas line on impact and burst into flames, igniting the school building and causing an estimated $250,000 in damage.

Quemazon Montessori School owner Tammy Tucker was notified of the fire and flew back to Los Alamos from California.

“We’re very happy and very grateful no one got hurt. We’re very grateful to the fire department and the police and the county,” she said at the time. “The quick response and calm, cool strength, courage and wisdom of our staff was on the mark and the county evacuation was flawless.”

Tucker is restoring the 5,000 square foot building as quickly as possible. Classes are being held at the First Baptist Church on Diamond Drive in the interim.

Tucker also owns an adjacent building used for infants and toddlers that was untouched by the fire.