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Richard Gonzales killed by own car while delivering valentines

9:03 PM, Feb 13, 2013   |    comments
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ALTON, Ill. (AP/KSDK) - Authorities say a 78-year-old southwestern Illinois man delivering Valentine's Day greetings was killed while trying to stop his car, which began rolling after he failed to put it in park.

Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn says Richard Gonzales of Godfrey died at an Alton hospital shortly after the accident Tuesday afternoon outside the home of the victim's niece.

Nonn says Gonzales stepped from his car to deliver a valentine but failed to put the vehicle in park.

When the car began rolling, Gonzales tried to regain control of it but became pinned between his open car door and the frame of the vehicle after the car came to rest against a fence.

Nonn says Gonzales died of chest trauma and asphyxiation.

Gonzalez was an avid American Red Cross volunteer. Gonzalez started as volunteer with the American Red Cross in 1995. He helped out with local disasters but also volunteered on fifty one national assignments.

The visitation for Gonzales will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Friday, February 15 at Gent Funeral Home in Alton, Illinois. 

A memorial mass will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, February 16 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Alton, Illinois.

Memorials can be made to St. Mary's Catholic Church Youth Group, St. Francis Catholic Churh Youth Group, Holy Ghost Catholic Church Youth Group, and Zion Lutheran Church Youth Group in Bethalto, or to Autismspeaks.org in the name of Abby Cruz, his great niece. 

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Associated Press/KSDK

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