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Fatal accident claims life of Chicago fifth-grader

Any car accident that results in fatalities is tragic, but when the life of a child is claimed, it is even more heartbreaking.

An 11-year-old boy from Peoria was on his way to school on an average day. As he scampered between a stopped vehicle and a bus, he ran right into a pickup truck with a trailer. The vibrant fifth grader was transported to Children's Hospital of Illinois at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. After being diagnosed as brain-dead, was placed on life support, but suffered fatal injuries. His family is working with Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donation to commemorate their son's memory by saving another life.

A memorial has been set up at the site of the accident as neighbors remember a playful and pleasant child with an outgoing personality.

The incident did not take place in a crosswalk. City officials are working with police to examine ways to improve safety measures as summer approaches and more pedestrians and cyclists will be on public streets. One school district asked engineers and other district officials to discuss the possibility of installing yellow school zone lights that would warn motorists of children, often too small to see, meandering through streets during peak periods and times of day.

Provisions can be implemented to address blind spots on city buses. Residents in the neighborhood can be informed of cautious crossing and increased safety measures to protect children and other pedestrians in high-traffic areas.

Grief counselors were made available to young students at Lincoln Elementary to emphasize how to be safe while walking in the area, encouraging them to speak to parents and other adults about fears and concerns.

Car accidents in the state of Illinois are frequently caused by negligence. While nothing can bring back a vivacious child who died too soon, the surviving family members have options under the law. If an accident, that could have been prevented, results in death or serious injury, there are individuals who can provide assistance to anyone suffering the pain of losing a loved one. Many drivers drink, text, or are careless on the road. Surviving families of a fatal accident may be entitled to receive support and resources to enable them to pick up the pieces and move forward with life.

Source: Journal Star, "Family, makeshift memorial remember Peoria boy hit by truck" Laura Nightengale, May. 06, 2014

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