Second child dies in Gary accident

FATAL CRASH: Police: None of Chevrolet Blazer occupants wore seat belts. 6-year-old was sitting on another child's lap
2007-03-27T00:00:00Z Second child dies in Gary accidentRUTHANN ROBINSON
rrobinson@nwitimes.com
219.662.5331
nwitimes.com

GARY | A second child died Monday from injuries suffered in the Sunday evening two-car crash at the intersection of 24th Avenue and Garfield Street in Gary, authorities said.

University of Chicago Hospitals doctors pronounced Joseph Tyler, 12, of Gary, dead at 2:37 a.m. Monday, said a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner.

Odis Taylor, 6, of Gary, died at the scene, police said.

A Chevrolet Lumina heading west on 24th Avenue crashed into the driver's side passenger area of the Chevrolet Blazer in which the two children were traveling, Gary police Cpl. Agnes Roberts said. No one in the Blazer wore seat belts or child restraints, police said.

It appeared the Blazer, driven by Tijuana Martin, 28, ran a stop sign as it headed south on Garfield Street, Roberts said.

All four occupants of the Lumina wore seat belts, Roberts said.

No charges have been filed. Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, Roberts said.

Odis' grandmother and guardian, Vernice Taylor, said the kindergarten student at Gary's Beveridge Elementary School spent the day Sunday playing in a friend's backyard near 10th Avenue and Polk Street prior to getting into the vehicle with Martin and the other passengers.

Police said Odis was sitting on a girl's lap when the accident happened. Joseph was sitting in the center of the back seat.

Taylor referred to Martin as Odis' "godsister," saying Martin's mother cared for Odis while his grandmother worked.

"I'm not upset or angry with anyone," Taylor said. "They've always been in his life. I couldn't have asked for a better family."

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