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Report: Tinley girl killed by car was chasing a ball

Fires

Neighbors said they saw four-year-old Annabella Loerop playing outside with her younger brother and grandfather Monday afternoon on the sidewalk in front of their one-story home not long before the street filled with fire trucks and police cars.

“I did see the kids out in front and I thought maybe one of them fell or something,” said neighbor Mary Greiner, 48, when she heard yelling coming from the street. “And then when the fire engines came, I knew it had to be something more.”

The girl who went by ‘Bella’ was struck by a Buick driven by a 16-year-old boy at about 4 p.m., said Tinley Park police. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said she was taken to Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, where she was pronounced dead at 5:03 p.m.

This morning family members were around the home speaking with others coming and going from the driveway, but they said the girl’s parents and grandparents who lived with Annabella in the home were away making funeral arrangements. They declined further comment.

Neighbors said they often saw Annabella playing outside with her family, but most of the time they would be back in the driveway or in the backyard, away from the busy roadway.

Greiner said she was in her kitchen with the windows open two doors down from the Loerop home when the accident occurred. She didn’t hear squealing breaks or squealing tires, but only the yells to call 911.

As neighbors came went outside to see what had happened, Greiner said she could see that Annabella, in her pink dress, was a good distance away from where her shoes were lying in the roadway.

According to a neighbor, the girl was hit and killed by a car in front of her home was chasing a ball into the street at the time, police said today.

But Police Cmdr. Steve Vaccaro said police are waiting for the department's accident investigation unit to conclude its recreation of the incident before confirming further details.

“We’re going to wait until we do the investigation to determine whether or not charges are warranted” against the 16-year-old driver, Vaccaro said. 

Annabella attended the early learning program at Memorial School in Tinley Park.

arueff@tribune.com

alwang@tribune.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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