Driverless van strikes 1-year-old girl in city

November 16, 1998|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A 1-year-old girl was critically injured yesterday when she was struck by the family van as it drifted backward on a West Baltimore street, police said.

Four other children and a woman were injured when they jumped from the driverless van, said Sgt. Scott Rowe, a police spokesman.

Rowe said Mark Gatewood parked the 1985 Ford Econoline van in front of a store in the 600 block of Wheeler Ave. about 12: 30 p.m. -- with the gearshift in park and the engine off -- and entered the store. His wife, Jill Holly, 31; their children -- Kelly Gatewood, 1, Jasmine Gatewood, 8, Shyheen Holly, 3, Courtney Holly, 9 -- and a friend, Morgan Davis, 3, remained in the van.

Minutes later, the gearshift disengaged, causing the van to coast backward toward Edmondson Avenue, Rowe said. The occupants tried to jump to safety. Jill Holly was holding Kelly and trying to help the others when the van struck her foot and caused her to fall. The van ran over Holly's leg and Kelly's upper body, police said.

The van came to rest against a telephone pole.

Rowe said Kelly was in critical condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, and the others were treated for minor injuries at University of Maryland Medical Center.

Pub Date: 11/16/98

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