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A runaway car jumped a sidewalk and struck and killed three young children as they played in front of a house, police and witnesses said.

The children died after they were taken to two hospitals after the accident Friday night. Killed were Jason Northrup, 9; his sister, Marlene, 7, and a 2-year-old neighbor, R. J. Murray.The car driver, Stan Dlugolenski, 79, was slightly injured. He said the car "just went like a rocket on me" as he turned a corner.

"It just kept going," he said. "I had the car serviced yesterday. I tried the brakes and they wasn't working. I just couldn't get it to stop."

Police Lt. Victor Gillis said authorities would check the vehicle for mechanical failure. No charges had been filed Saturday, Gillis said.