7-year-old girl fatally struck on South Side identified

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A 7-year-old girl struck and killed by a vehicle owned by a city contractor in Chicago's West Englewood neighborhood was identified Friday. (WLS)

A 7-year-old girl struck and killed by a vehicle owned by a city contractor in Chicago's West Englewood neighborhood was identified Friday.

Samyra Lee and her mother were crossing South Ashland Avenue at West 65th Street against the traffic just after 7:45 a.m. Friday, police said. They were waiting in the middle of the intersection to finish crossing when the girl and her mother were struck by the tractor's trailer.

The child was rushed to Comer Children's Hospital in critical condition. He mother rode along with her. Samyra, who lived in the 200-block of West 37th Place, was pronounced dead at the hospital, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Police originally reported the vehicle was leased by the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation. City spokesperson Jennifer Martinez said in a statement a city vendor owned the tractor and that it was driven by the vendor's employee.

Martinez said the contractor and the driver are cooperating with investigators.

The vendor made no comment to ABC7.

"I understand she was on her way to school, mom taking her to school - but unfortunately, both were struck by this vehicle," said community activist Andrew Holmes.

Jeanette Jones, who witnessed the crash with her own daughter, says there is a safety issue at the intersection.

"They really do need to have some type of crossing guard in this area because kids do be crossing these streets," Jones said.

Chicago police cited the driver for not slowing down to avoid an accident.

"It's a sad situation because it's Memorial Day weekend, and you have to start this weekend off by losing your loved one," said Holmes.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
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