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URBANA — A Westville woman died Sunday afternoon at Carle Foundation Hospital after being accidentally shot by a child in her care.

Capt. Mike Hartshorn of the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Office said about 12:30 p.m., Marita Hile, 64, was driving a car on Georgetown Road in Tilton when it crashed into a sign at the Mach 1 gas station, 1525 Georgetown Road.

Hartshorn said people saw the crash and ran to assist and found Ms. Hile mortally wounded.

She had been shot by a young child who was in the back seat with a handgun.

Hartshorn declined to say what the child’s relationship is to Ms. Hile, his age, or how he might have gotten the gun. The case is still under investigation.

They were the only two people in the car, he said. She was taken to Carle and pronounced dead at 1:22 p.m.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).