An 11-month-old girl died and her grandparents were injured Sunday morning when a car slammed into them as they left their North Kansas City church.
Witnesses said a car driven by an 89-year-old longtime member of First Baptist Church at 2205 Iron St. struck the victims as it sped backward out of a handicapped parking spot.
“It shot out like a cannon,” said Patty Reed, who was parked directly in front of the driver’s car. “Had he gone forward, we wouldn’t be here right now.”
The car slammed into another vehicle, overturned a fire hydrant and then squealed backward about 50 feet down the street until it came to a stop.
In the parking lot, the couple who had been walking with their granddaughter behind the car were on the ground.
People rushed to the victims, said Cec Reed, Patty’s husband.
“I can still hear the screaming — men, women, everyone rushing to help,” Cec Reed said Sunday evening. “My wife and I have prayed and cried all day.”
One young woman started CPR on the girl, he said.
“Then she stopped and looked up in the sky and screamed, ‘Oh my God, no! Please, God, no!”
But the baby appeared lifeless.
All three victims were rushed to a hospital, where the baby was pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m. Her grandparents’ conditions were not available Sunday night.
Police said the driver was cooperating with their investigation.
The only crash debris that remained in the parking lot by the evening worship service was five crumbled animal crackers, a piece of a brake light and an overturned yellow fire hydrant.
“The heartbreak of this day goes deep,” the Rev. Tiger Pennington said at a special outdoor prayer service Sunday evening.
About 90 members of the church came together, with Pennington lifting them up with verses.
He asked God for healing. Several church families are devastated, he said, but their faith offers hope after the sorrow.
“Death will not have the final word this day,” Pennington said.