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Park Forest police say investigation continues in death of student hit by school bus

by staff

Park Forest police said Saturday they continue to investigate the death of a 7-year-old boy who was struck by a school bus Friday afternoon, but acknowledged the eview will take longer than people may prefer.

“The Park Forest Police Department is dedicated to ensuring that a full, impartial, and complete investigation into this matter is conducted, including the review of all available witness statements, surveillance video, forensic evidence, and the completion of investigation by the Suburban Major Accident Reconstruction Team,” the department said in a news release.


The crash happened on the 100 block of Walnut Street at 3:13 p.m. while the bus was taking students home from Park Forest-Chicago Heights Elementary District 163, police said. The boy was seriously injured, and his family began lifesaving measures until police and paramedics arrived.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office identified the boy as Connor Kasmarski. He was taken to Franciscan Health Olympia Fields Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. Kasmarski was a Mohawk Primary Center second grader, Superintendent Caletha White wrote in a statement.


“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 by the Mohawk and District 163 students and educators,” White wrote.

The bus involved in the accident is owned by Kickert School Bus Line Inc., police said. The bus driver and witnesses to the crash are being interviewed, police said.

Saturday’s release said any decision regarding criminal charges will be made in conjunction with the Cook County state’s attorney’s office when all evidence has been obtained and reviewed.

“Given the indescribable pain that the child’s family is enduring, no further details regarding this incident will be released until they have had time to process this tragedy and are able to review available information,” the statement said.

A woman at the family’s home Saturday, who said she was a close relative, said the family did not have a comment.

“This is not a good time,” she said.

Police said in the release that relationships among the Park Forest Police Department, District 163, and the University of Illinois at Chicago Urban Youth Trauma Center are allowing for services to be provided for school families and those who have been affected.

Police ask anyone with information related to the accident to call the Park Forest police investigations division at 708-748-1309.

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