Blogs > In the Zone

Jason Schmitt is the editor of, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Near tragedy at West Bloomfield

This view is from where the SUV crashed through
the back fence before rolling through the grass
and settling just short of the parking lot of the
high school. There were eight players and a coach
Larry Stark on these two courts when the vehicle
crashed through the fence Friday.

(Photos by JASON SCHMITT/The Oakland Press)
Sometimes things are just meant to be — or in this case, not meant to be.Those weren't my words. Those were the words of West Bloomfield tennis coach Larry Stark, who, along with several of his players, avoided what could have been a major tragedy Friday afternoon at practice.
This is a view (above) from where the SUV
crashed through the fence before going through
the net and eventually through the fence on the
far left of the photo.
According to Stark, a 22-year-old woman driving a Mercedes SUV heading southbound on Orchard Lake Road, veered across the road, down the embankment and over the sidewalk before crashing through the fence surrounding the tennis courts at the high school. The vehicle continued, crashing through the net before running through the fence on the south side of the courts, eventually coming to rest just before reaching the school parking lot.
At the time of the incident, the West Bloomfield tennis team was practicing on the courts. Eight of Stark's players, along with himself, were on the two courts the vehicle crossed. According to Stark, the vehicle narrowly missed a handful of the players.
"We heard this loud noise and saw the vehicle crash through the fence," Stark said. "We all just yelled 'Run' and scrambled."
Stark said he checked with his team to make sure everyone was safe, before heading over to the vehicle to check on the driver. A bit dazed and in shock, she was OK as well. Stark wasn't sure if she was taken from the scene by police, or another emergency vehicle.
The fencing has been taped off and the court will be cleaned up for a scheduled scrimmage with Berkley on Monday. Stark has been in contact with all his players since the incident and says everyone seems to be in good spirits.
"I'm blessed that no one was hurt. It could have been tremendously ugly," Stark said. "I was worried to death when that car came crashing through there. It really was a miracle that someone wasn't hurt. I guess it just wasn't our time."

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home