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Teen Driver Charged In Collision That Killed 4-Year-Old Tinley Park Girl

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Tinley Park Accident

A 5-year-old girl was struck and killed by a teenage girl as she chased a ball in Tinley Park. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 08/16/11 7:14 p.m.

TINLEY PARK, Ill. (CBS) — A 17-year-old boy has been charged with hitting and killing a 4-year-old girl in Tinley Park, three months after the deadly accident.

Deandre Wolfe of Oak Forest has been charged as an adult in connection with the crash, according to Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton.

At the Bridgeview courthouse on Monday, he was ordered held on $250,000 bond, Simonton said. A preliminary hearing was set for Sept. 6.

As WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, Wolfe is accused of striking Annabella Loerop as she ran into the street to chase a ball on May 9.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports

Annabella was struck by a car driven by a then-16-year-old about 4 p.m. on May 9 in the 6500 block of 175th Street in Tinley Park, police said.

She was pronounced dead at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

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

The car was eastbound on 175th Street, and two postal workers driving westbound were on the scene seconds after the accident.

“It looked bad, very bad,” one of the workers, Dee Diamond of Matteson, said at the time.

“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 Annabella had died.

The 17-year-old was charged as a juvenile on Monday, according to Tinley Park police.

He was taken to the Bridgeview Courthouse but bond information was not immediately available.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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