3-year-old is struck and killed by work truck in downtown Kansas City

A 3-year-old boy was struck and killed by a gas company truck in downtown Kansas City Wednesday, according to police.

The crash happened shortly before 1:30 p.m. on 11th Street near Grand Boulevard, according to Sgt. Jake Becchina, a police spokesman.

When police arrived at the scene, they found the boy in critical condition. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Police have not released the boy’s name.

Becchina said police were still investigating what led up to the crash.

A preliminary investigation showed the child was walking out of a store with his father along the south side of 11th Street when the child “broke away from his father’s hand and ran northbound into 11th Street between two parked vehicles.”

The boy was hit by the truck, which was heading westbound.

“There’s a lot of pedestrian traffic in the afternoon down here. There’s a lot of buses that go by here,” Becchina said. “It’s really tough to see, it’s really tough for the officers who deal with this and it’s obviously a tragic loss for the family this afternoon.”

Police said the truck, which belonged to the St. Louis-based gas company Spire, stayed at the scene, and the driver was cooperating with police.

“We are devastated about what happened today and our thoughts and prayers are with the child’s family,” said John Mink, a spokesman for Spire. “We are cooperating fully with the KCPD as part of their investigation and we will continue to do so.”

It was unclear what work the Spire truck was being used for at the time of the crash.

John Garcellano, an assistant manager at a Jimmy John’s at the intersection where the crash happened, said he was in the store when he saw people running off the sidewalk into the middle of the street to tend to the injured boy.

“I’m not a parent, but I certainly love children and hate to see something like this happen,” Garcellano said.

Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing.
Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.