17-year-old carjacking crash victim asks for help from the public

“It’s all for my mom because she’s in the worst pain now, and we didn’t deserve this happening to us...”
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 5:11 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - “It was - It was just traumatizing,” said 17-year-old carjacking crash victim Mikayla Knautz.

Just before 10 p.m. on Sep. 20, 17-year- old Mikayla Knautz sat in the passenger seat while her mother, Cassandra Peters, drove her home from a nursing class at Rock Valley College.

Knautz says a vehicle came barreling at them near Spring Creek Road and Elder Lane.

“The car is coming towards us on the wrong side of the road, and they’re kind of swerving back and forth,” she said. “My mom did her best to try and get out of the way, and there was just not enough time.”

Sheriff’s deputies later told them the man driving the SUV was trying to get away from officers wanting to arrest him in connection with a hijacking less than a half an hour before the crash.

In that case, the victim says a man pointed a gun at her and demanded she get out of the vehicle.

Knautz says everything happened so quickly.

“My mom was stuck in the driver side with the door area closing in on her, and she ended up with a broken femur, and her patella, which is her knee cap, was shattered into nine different pieces,” Knautz said.

Peters has had three surgeries and says she’s in a great deal of pain. Knautz has bruises and is sore. She arranged a GoFundMe page hoping to pay off medical bills and car damage.

“It’s all for my mom because she’s in the worst pain now, and we didn’t deserve this happening to us, so I just want to make sure our whole family is able to be comfortable again because right now, it’s just a very high-stress situation,” Knautz said.

Mikayla’s GoFundMe:

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