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Girl, 4, killed by car while chasing ball into street in Tinley Park

Tinley Park Police investigate scene 6500 block 175th Street where 5-year-old girl was killed when she was hit by car

Tinley Park Police investigate the scene in the 6500 block of 175th Street where a 5-year-old girl was killed when she was hit by a car Monday, May 9, 2011. | Brett Roseman ~ Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 11, 2011 12:36AM

A 4-year-old Tinley Park girl was killed Monday afternoon when she ran into the street while chasing a ball and was struck by a car, police said.

The girl was struck by a car driven by a 16-year-old boy about 4 p.m. in the 6500 block of 175th Street.

The girl had chased a basketball into the street before the car hit her, said Brenda Bettenhausen, who lives next door to the girl’s family.

A basketball sat on the front lawn of the girl’s house as distraught family members hugged one another on the front porch. The family did not return a phone call Monday night.

The girl was pronounced dead at an area hospital, police Cmdr. Pat McCain said, adding that no charges would be filed until Tuesday at the earliest.

“It’s under investigation. ... If there are charges, (they) will be in the future after we look at it,” McCain said.

The car was eastbound on 175th Street when the girl was struck. Two postal workers driving westbound on 175th Street were on the scene seconds after the accident.

“It looked bad, very bad,” Dee Diamond, of Matteson said.

“I thought of my daughter when I saw the girl (lying) in the street,” said Regina Mayerhofer, of Griffith, Ind., who called 911. “The girl has blue eyes and blond hair, just like my daughter.”

Moments later, Diamond and Mayerhofer clasped their hands over their mouths and wept when Bettenhausen told them the girl had died.

“Oh, no. Oh, Lord. Oh, poor baby. Poor baby. She was so little, Lord have mercy to be with that family,” Diamond said.

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