Identity of boy killed by runaway vehicle in church parking lot released

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UPDATE: Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood identified the 3-year-old boy who died after being hit by a runaway vehicle last week.

Carter Joseph died Saturday from injuries sustained when he and a 33-year-old woman were hit by their own runaway vehicle after exiting it.

The woman was released from the hospital.


The Geneseo Police Department announced Tuesday morning that the 3-year-old boy involved in the runaway vehicle accident last week died on Saturday.

The 33-year-old woman has been released from the hospital.

“There are no words to express the devastation the family and friends of the victims are experiencing,” the news release said. “The family remain in the thoughts of the entire community.” 


A woman and a child were hit by their own runaway vehicle in a church parking lot Thursday morning.

The child was airlifted to a Peoria hospital and is suffering from life-threatening injuries and the woman is in critical condition but is expected to survive.

Emergency crews who arrived on the scene found a 3-year-old boy and 33-year-old woman, both of Geneseo, suffering from severe injuries from a motor vehicle accident.

Police say based on witness statements and evidence at the scene of the incident, the preliminary investigation indicates the woman was exiting the driver’s side door of her stopped vehicle with the 3-year-old child in order to secure him in a rear child restraint seat.

As she was exiting the vehicle, it began to roll backwards from the stopped position. The woman and child were knocked to the ground and pulled under the moving vehicle. Upon falling to the ground, the front wheel of the driverless vehicle ran over the two, causing their injuries.

The vehicle continued rolling back until striking a parked vehicle in the same parking lot.
A second child who was already secured in a child restraint seat in the moving vehicle received no physical injury.

Witnesses at the First Lutheran Church contacted 911 and assisted with treating the victims until the arrival of first responders. 


A child was airlifted to a Peoria hospital and an adult was injured after being hit by a car in a church parking lot Thursday morning.

It happened around 11:43 a.m.

The Geneseo Police Department was called to First Lutheran Church in the 100 block of Main Street for an accident that involved pedestrians and a vehicle.

Police confirmed to Local 4 News that a child was transported to Peoria OSF by MedForce Helicopter for critical injuries and an adult was transported by Genesis Ambulance to the same hospital. 

Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Geneseo Police Department at 309-944-5141.

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