CHAMPAIGN — Champaign County sheriff’s investigators believe the death Saturday of a toddler hit by a car was an accident.
Lt. Ed Ogle said Samaj A.J. Maclin, 14 months, of Champaign died after being hit by a car that was pulling out of a driveway in the 2600 block of Roland Drive in northwest Champaign.
“The child had gotten out of the home unnoticed,” said Ogle.
Allen M. Williams, 21, who listed an address on Queensway Drive in Champaign, was leaving the home about 7:15 p.m. Saturday.
“He felt like he hit something behind him. When he got out and checked, the child was laying on the driveway,” Ogle said.
Ogle said Williams was visiting at the home, which is the residence of Corrine Blakely, 65.
Ogle said Blakely was watching a total of five children, ranging in age from 14 months to 12 years, that night. Samaj’s mother, Jazmine Maclin of Champaign, was at work.
Ogle said Williams and Blakely took the child in his car to Provena Covenant Medical Center in Urbana. Authorities there notified the sheriff’s office.
Due to the severity of the injuries, the child was transferred by ambulance to Carle Foundation Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:58 p.m. Coroner Duane Northrup said preliminary autopsy results indicate the boy died of blunt force injuries to his head and torso.
Ogle said because Williams was not related to the baby, he was told he could leave. On Sunday, he went to the Urbana Police Department to report what had happened and they got him in touch with a sheriff’s deputy.
“It’s just a terrible accident. We’re obviously looking at the supervision aspect,” Ogle said.
The accident remains under investigation by the sheriff and the coroner.