Woman in fatal collision allowed grandson to move car

Woman in fatal collision allowed grandson to move car

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign police say a Rantoul woman who died after being struck by her own car Wednesday afternoon allowed her teenage grandson to move the vehicle.

A release from police spokeswoman Rene Dunn said Eugenia "Jeanne" Crites, 64, of Rantoul, had parked her car in the parking lot of Market Place Mall on Wednesday afternoon. After realizing she had not parked properly, she let her 13-year-old grandson to reposition it.

As the teen was in reverse, Mrs. Crites told him to stop. However, he inadvertently pressed on the gas and struck her with the car. Her Nissan Altima then continued in reverse and struck two other unoccupied parked cars.

Emergency personnel responded to the accident at 3:28 p.m. and found Mrs. Crites seriously injured in the parking lot and her grandson nearby being comforted by bystanders.

She was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 3:54 p.m. He was not physically injured.

Mrs. Crites was retired from the Rantoul Press, where she had worked since 1972. She was named employee of the year in 2008 and retired in 2010.

Police said no tickets were issued to the teen.

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jmh910 wrote on May 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm

How terribly awful for this family.  Sending out prayers.

Chris Slack wrote on May 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Such a tragedy. I worked with Jeannie for 17 years at the Rantoul Press and she was such a wonderful person to me. I started at the Press at the age of 19 and Jeannie was so helpful to me. She always was willing to help me. I'd ask her to typeset something for me or show me how to operate a machine or computer and she would be right there to help me. I'll never forget Jeannie. My wife, Cindy, and I express our condolences to the Crites family. I can't imagine the pain they are going through. We'll miss you dearly.

Chris Slack

jswigart wrote on May 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm

This is so incredibly sad.  Jeanne was such a good and genuine person.  I always enjoyed our chats when we worked together.  My thoughts go out to her family and her grandson.