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7-year-old boy fatally struck by school bus in Park Forest

A 7-year-old boy was fatally struck by a school bus Friday afternoon in south suburban Park Forest.

Connor Kasmarski was struck about 3:15 pm at the 100 block of Walnut Street, Park Forest police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

He was taken to Franciscan Health Olympia Fields Hospital, where he died, police said.

The bus involved in the incident was taking students from Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163, officials said.

District Superintendent Caletha White posted a statement posted to the district’s website Friday night.

Connor, a second-grade student at Mohawk Primary Center, “will be missed greatly by the Mohawk and District 163 students and educators,” White said, calling him “a joy to all of his teachers, kind-hearted, smart and funny, always with a smile on his face.”

The school district and police were arranging for counselors to be available for students and staff over the weekend and at the start of next week, police said.

“It is very difficult to experience the death of a young person,” White said in her posted statement. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with his entire family in the difficult days ahead.”

Officials say it’s unknown whether any charges will be filed in the incident.

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