Baby girl fatally struck by car in East St. Louis

News-DemocratMay 18, 2013 

— A 1-year-old girl was run over by a car and killed Saturday afternoon in the Gompers housing complex and police were questioning two juvenile boys.

The victim's name was released.

Assistant Police Chief Ronald Ike said an 11-year-old boy took his mother's car keys and went to sit in inside her car to listen to some music. He was joined by his 12-year-old friend, Ike said.

"The boy on the driver's side turned the music off and his friend who was on the passenger side turned the car on, put it into gear and the car moved forward and unfortunately it rolled over the 1-year-old," Ike said.

The boy's mother was unaware that her son had taken her keys.

Since they are juvenile boys, their identities were not released.

The accident occurred about 3:50 p.m. near Building 21 in the Gompers Housing complex at 450 N. Sixth St.

Juvenile Detective Sgt. Gilda Johnson and Detective Sgt. Jay Cobb were working the crime scene.

Ike said they were interviewing witnesses.

Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. called the situation sad and unfortunate.

"It's very sad when you think about a baby who has not lived yet being taken on some foolishness. That baby girl might've been a doctor or the first to create a cure for something one day. Why not find a stereo system in the house of some place else?" Parks asked.

Parks said he was reminded that parents have to do a better job when it comes to controlling important things. "You have to know where your keys are at all times," he said.

"Some people don't think an 11-year-old boy would run over a baby, but you have to safeguard against the worse case scenario. We all understand that accidents happen. But you have to make sure your keys are in a spot where you have control," Parks said.

Parks said he doesn't know what the punishment would be in a case like this, but one thing he is almost certain of is that the child has a conscious and he will have to unfortunately live with the fact that he killed a child. "That will be a great punishment," Parks said,

"We pray for and support all families who are involved," Parks said. "The victim's family, the boy who accidentally caused the accident and for other boy's family, too. It's a blessing that only one child was killed. It could've been three or four."

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.

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