Boy struck, killed by machinery

August 11, 2009 (CHICAGO) The accident happened about 10 a.m. on Tuesday near 80th and Ellis.

VIDEO: Boy struck, killed by machinery

There are conflicting reports about what happened. Police are saying one thing while witnesses are saying another. But they're all calling it a tragic freak accident.

Nine-year-old Valente Torres of Chicago died from injuries suffered at a construction site on the 8100-block of South Ellis in the East Chatham community. He was brought to the University of Chicago's Comer Children's Hospital.

Police say the child was with his father, who was operating a Bobcat skid loader at the time of the tragic accident, and that the still bucket from the apparatus came crashing down on the child's head.

"The child fell and somehow the bucket to the apparatus came down on him," said Lt. Anthony Carothers, Chicago Police Department.

Neighbor Stephanie Johnson, who witnessed the accident said the victim was not riding in the Bobcat with his father, Raul Torres of Torres Construction.

"The little boy was not on the truck. The little boy was kind of like maneuvering around the truck, but he wasn't on the truck," said Johnson.

"His baby is gone and the fact that he was behind the machine that did the damage. So right now this man is freaking out," said Dawn Harris.

Nicole Robinson, who was visiting her sister in the neighborhood, said she heard screams and a cry for help this morning from the building next door that is being made into condos.

"I heard a lot of screaming and then I saw the father running with the baby in his arms. And we were right there on the ground. And my sister came from upstairs and brought them a towel downstairs to cover him up," said Robinson.

The scene has been cleared of the equipment.

Residents of the neighborhood say they'll never forget the accident and that their prayers go out to the family.

Valente Torres was the youngest of four children. Family members say he was working with his father this summer because he wanted to save money for a game.

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