Community rallies behind family after boy struck by car

ST. ANN, Mo. - A north St. Louis County community has come together to help the family of a young boy who was hit by a car in St. Ann Friday.

Justin Welch, 7, and his twin brother, Ryan, crossed Adie Road in St. Ann to drop off some candy at a friend’s house. They rang the doorbell and then ran home; that's when Justin was hit by a car.

“He will have to have several surgeries on his face. Most of the bones on his face are broken,” said Hannah Welch, the boys' mother.

Justin Welch is being cared for at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He is expected to recover.

“It’s the hardest thing that’s ever happened to me as a mother,” Welch said.

People believe a big evergreen tree blocked the driver’s view.

“I was just in shock. I was just in complete shock,” said Nichole Vogelsang, a neighbor.

Vogelsang posted warning signs after the accident. Residents said Adie Road is busier since new stores have reopened at the former Northwest Plaza. Also, the make-up of the neighborhood has changed.

"This street used to be more elderly people but we’ve got a lot more elementary kids on our street now. They are young," Vogelsang said.

Hannah Welch has started a GoFundMe page to help cover Justin's medical bills and afford to be with her son while he recovers.

“She should be at the hospital," said Amanda Brown, a neighbor. "Her son needs her right now.”

One woman is asking Justin’s classmates and family friends to sends lots of cards to Justin’s hospital room so he’s surrounded by joy and support as he recovers.

“It’s amazing to know what a great community we have here that will help out a kid they don’t even know and just be there for us. It’s amazing,” said Welch.

No one is blaming the driver for the accident. It does not appear he'll be charged.