Police investigate deadly crash that claimed life of toddler

Local News

CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Law enforcement officials say they’re continuing their investigation of a fatal crash Friday involving two pickup trucks in rural Christian County.

A press release from the Christian County Sheriff’s Office stated a 2008 Chevrolet pickup truck, driven by 20-year-old Chase E. Gaton, of Stonington, was heading south on 2000 East Road when a 2017 Dodge Ram crashed into it around 6:15 p.m. Friday at 350 North Road, north of Rosamond.

The Dodge Ram was pulling a loaded trailer and was being driven by Tyler A. Buerster, 21, of Noble. Police said Gaton failed to yield the right of way at the intersection and Buerster’s car crashed into the passenger side of Gaton’s truck.

Seventeen-month-old Knox Gaton, also the son of Chase Gaton, was in a child car-seat in the rear passenger-side seat of the Chevrolet pickup truck at the time of the accident. The toddler died at 1:02 a.m. Saturday at the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis.

Jacob A. Bright, 24, of Taylorville, was sitting in the front passenger seat of Gaton’s truck. Bright was thrown from the vehicle during the crash and was airlifted to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield for treatment of critical injuries. Chase Gaton was taken to Pana Community Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Buerster, the driver of the Dodge Ram, was not hurt during the crash.

The Christian County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Illinois State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit, the Pana Fire Department and Pana Ambulance.

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