"We're going to hope and pray this never happens again," Pastor John Ciesniewski said
A 12-year-old girl has died after she was struck by a car Wednesday night in Illinois while she was fleeing a crash, authorities said.
The Plainfield Police Department said in a news release that the incident included two different crashes around 8:30 p.m. local time near Route 59 and Riverwalk Court.
The first collision occurred when a 2009 Nissan Rogue came to a stop sign after turning left off Riverwalk Court to proceed northbound on Route 59, according to police. The Nissan failed to yield to a 2004 Toyota Rav4 traveling southbound on Route 59 and was hit on the driver's side.
"A passenger in the Nissan, a 12-year-old female, quickly exited the vehicle and ran eastbound from the traffic crash and was subsequently struck by another vehicle, a 2012 Ford Fusion, which was traveling northbound on Route 59,” the department added.
Authorities said that the victim was transported to Ascension Saint Joseph Hospital in critical condition with life-threatening injuries. Police and the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office told PEOPLE Friday that the girl had died and identified her as Gianna Lamb.
The Plainfield Police Department added in its statement that members of the Illinois State Police were summoned and did a traffic reconstruction of the incident. An investigation is ongoing.
Pastor John Ciesniewski of the Community Christian Church told ABC affiliate WLS-TV that Gianna had just left the church's youth ministry event Wednesday evening.
According to the report, people involved in both traffic accidents were members of the church's congregation who were either driving to or from the church.
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"We're going to see this family and the families involved through this tragedy,” Ciesniewski, whose church held a service the day after the incident, told WLS. “We're going to love 'em. We're going to walk every step of the way with them. And we're going to hope and pray this never happens again."
Plainfield Mayor John Argoudelis acknowledged the fatal incident in a Facebook post on Friday morning, writing, “We as a community again mourn a tragic accident involving our community youth. We pray for three families directly affected and vow to do our best to ensure the safety of our residents.”
“We are working with our State officials to do all we can to prevent future accidents at this intersection,” he added. “In the meantime, let’s keep our Plainfield families impacted, in our thoughts.”
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