Park Forest police say 7-year-old boy struck and killed by school bus

ByLiz Nagy and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, January 21, 2023
Boy, 7, struck and killed by school bus in Park Forest: police
Park Forest police said a 7-year-old boy was struck and killed by a school bus Friday in the south suburb.

PARK FOREST, Ill. (WLS) -- Park Forest police said a 7-year-old boy was struck and killed by a school bus in south suburban Park Forest Friday.

Police said the incident happened in the 100-block of Walnut Street shortly before 3:15 p.m. Family started life-saving measures, which paramedics and emergency responders then took over.

The boy was taken to Franciscan Health Olympia Fields Hospital where he died from his injuries. He was identified as Connor Kaczmarski.

"To know that bus was all the way around the corner. I don't even know if he knew he hit him. It's just horrible," said neighbor Jackie Lemarier.

Lemarier only saw the aftermath of the crash, not know it was one of her children's friends who had been hit, and tried to make sense of it.

"You should wait. Never ever move that bus. Wait until you know everything is clear. Whether you're the driver of the bus or somebody going down the street you should never ever go. Just wait. There's no rush," she said.

Police said the school bus was taking students home from Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163 at the time of the incident. The district and the police are arranging counselors to be available over the weekend and at the start of the school week to help students and staff.

The school district released a statement saying in part, "He was a joy to all of his teachers, kind-hearted, smart and funny; always with a smile on his face. He will be missed greatly."

The driver of the bus and witnesses are being interviewed by police. No charges have yet been filed, and police did not say if any charges were pending. The incident is being investigated by the Park Forest Police Department and Suburban Major Accident Reconstruction Team.

If you have any information, contact Park Forest police.