Birthday parade for four-year-old hit and killed by vehicle in Beloit

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 10:23 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Tuesday was supposed to be the happiest of occasions, celebrating a South Beloit boy’s fifth trip around the sun, but that all changed on a tragic Saturday.

“Jack was four years old, playing soccer on a Saturday,” said Prairie Hill Elementary School Principal Kevin Finnegan. “His mother, Valerie, is a teacher at Prairie Hill.”

Instead of being greeted by their son, as they pick him up from Saturday morning soccer practice, the mother and father of four-year-old Jack Baumann, were forced to say goodbye to their baby boy.

“Our community lost a wonderful soul,” said Finnegan.

Jack was run over by a car near the Stateline YMCA in Beloit and killed, just three days before his fifth birthday. He leaves his parents and two brothers behind.

“We’ve been mourning the families loss, his loss this week, but today we celebrate,” said Finnegan. “I’m amazed by their strength, and want to celebrate right now.”

What would have been a day to celebrate the start of Jack’s fifth trip around the sun, turns into a remembrance of his life. Hundreds of people paraded past the boys family home on 10/4, the day of this birth. But while ‘10-4′ is code for all okay in the law enforcement world, Beloit police make a Facebook post, stating many of them are not okay from his loss.

Although first responders and community members pour their hearts out, many know there is nothing that can heal the wounds that come with losing a child.

But family members tell me, seeing everyone come out and show their love, while sporting his favorite color blue, they believe is a sign he celebrated with them Tuesday.

“I hope jack feels the love,” said Finnegan.

The family say they also want to thank first responders who did everything they could to save Jack.