Illinois State Police say an 8-year-old boy was not restrained when he was thrown from a GMC sport utility vehicle in a crash Tuesday morning north of Marissa.
Trooper Calvin Dye Jr. said the driver of the GMC vehicle was 36-year-old Lee A. Fosnock. Fosnock was issued citations for disobeying a stop sign, having no valid driver’s license and failing to properly secure a child in a restraint device.
Police said in a crash summary that the 8-year-old who was riding in the SUV with Fosnock was not wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash.
According to police, Fosnock was driving a 2013 GMC Acadia with five passengers: 29-year-old Mandy Hagen and her four children, ages 10, 8, 5 and 1. Dye said both Fosnock and Hagen are from Pinckneyville.
Fosnock was driving west on Heintz Road around 8:15 a.m. Tuesday. As Fosnock approached Illinois 4, he disobeyed a stop sign and his vehicle was hit by a 2011 Ford Escape driven by 44-year-old Rebecca Morrell, of St. Libory, police said. Morrell was southbound on Illinois 4 toward Marissa when Fosnock pulled out onto the roadway.
Police said the Escape hit the passenger side of the Acadia. Both vehicles ended up in a muddy field next to the intersection. The Acadia flipped on its side.
Fosnock told police he was distracted by one of the children inside the vehicle when he failed to stop before entering the intersection.
Fosnock and Hagen were taken by ambulance to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, but Fosnock was later transferred to a St. Louis hospital because of the severity of his injuries, police said.
All four children were taken to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis. Three children were taken by ambulance, while the 8-year-old was flown from the scene by a medical helicopter. He was listed in critical condition on Tuesday.
Police said all six occupants of the Acadia had injuries that were not considered life-threatening. The crash summary said some of the children were treated at a hospital and released later in the day.
Morrell, who was the only person inside the Escape, had minor injuries and was taken to Sparta Community Hospital.
According St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, Fosnock pleaded guilty in June to driving on a suspended license. He had received the citation from Fairview Heights police in 2013 and was apprehended on a bench warrant in 2014. Kelly said Fosnock was sentenced to 150 days in the county jail and placed on one year of court supervision. He received credit for time already served, according to online court records.