CHICAGO (WLS) --A toddler was killed after darting in front of a CTA bus in the South Shore neighborhood on Memorial Day.
A source tells ABC7 Eyewitness News that the child's mother ran upstairs to her apartment to get a toy for her daughter, leaving the girl in the care of some friends and relatives downstairs near the sidewalk. That's when the girl darted into the street.
It happened in an instant.
One-and-a-half year old Cherish Upshaw-Meyers ran into the street right in front of the No. 6 Jackson Park express bus.
Police say the driver swerved to avoid the toddler but it was too little too late.
"I looked up I saw the baby running and she got by right there and there came the bus. I thought maybe bus driver saw her," said witness Willie Butler. "He didn't have time (to stop)."
Butler still struggles with what he saw.
The girl was hit as dozens of people looked on.
"She was right at the center of the bus," Butler said. "I was hoping she would be still and the bus was high enough to pass over her."
Witnesses say it wasn't the first time Monday the girl ran toward the street, but as the bus approached no one was close enough to stop the child.
"Two or three women over there going that way and the baby was 10-12 feet in front of them and there she was running out in the street. And then there the bus was," said Butler.
As the girl's relatives waited for police to confirm what they feared, a sad scene turned scary.
The sound of gunfire from a block or two away. Police pulled their own weapons and ran to check it out. No one was hurt
Back on South Shore Drive, the accident has other parents holding their kids a bit tighter.
"I was walking back to my car and I heard the screams and given what we had been dealing with as the city I was concerned about violence," said witness Keiana Barrett. "This is a tragedy of a different sort."
The CTA bus driver was also treated at the hospital for injuries. Everyone involved is calling this incident a tragic accident.