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.