Four children were injured, two critically, Sunday afternoon when a car was knocked out of gear at a home in North Hall, authorities reported.
Two of the children, Julian Rangeo, 8, and Sebastian Rangeo, 5, were flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston where they were in stable condition late Sunday night. The other two, Emilee Guerra, 1, and Savannah Brown, 1, were taken by ambulance to Northeast Georgia Medical Center. Guerra was later discharged, and Brown was transferred to Children’s Healthcare.
“They’re all neighbors to each other,” said Trooper 1st Class Brodie Forrester of the Georgia State Patrol. “I think two of them are brothers.”
One helicopter, taking off from nearby Rock Hill Congregational Holiness Church on Price Road, transported Julian and Sebastian. Two helicopters were originally called to the scene, but the second wasn’t available, Forrester said.
The incident on Price Way, off Sardis and Price roads, involved a 1988 Acura Legend, parked in a garage, that came out of gear and rolled backward, according to the state patrol.
The vehicle then struck the children, who were playing in a neighbor’s yard, Forrester said. A spokeswoman at the Atlanta office of the patrol said the children were sitting in the yard under a tree.
After the scene had cleared of medical responders, the Acura was towed from the house.
The state patrol’s specialized collision reconstruction team “will go back and do a vehicle inspection and see if there were any mechanical issues regarding the brakes, the gears or anything … that would cause the car to jump out of gear,” Forrester said.
Charges against the owner of the car, Oleksandra Y. Myrna, 32, are pending the completion of the investigation.
Paul Milligan, pastor at Rock Hill, said he was returning to the church from nursing home ministry work when he saw the helicopter landing at the church.
“I jumped out of our church van because I thought one of our children had gotten hit at the church,” he said.
Milligan said he later learned the details of the incident from the mother of one of the children.
“We had visited all these houses and a lot of these children had come to our vacation Bible school last week,” he said.
“It’s a tragedy and we’re definitely keeping the families in prayer.”
He said he planned to go to Northeast Georgia Medical after Sunday evening services “to see if the family is OK and if they need anything.
“Our church is here to help in any way possible.”