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Girl, 3, Dies After TV Falls On Her Head

Shaniya Singleton

Shaniya Singleton, 3, was killed when a TV fell on her head in her South Side home Tuesday. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 11/09/11 10:56 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A 3-year-old girl was killed when a TV fell on her head, in the second such incident in recent days.

As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, the family of Shaniya Singleton is devastated after their little girl died on Tuesday. The TV set fell on her head around 5:55 p.m. at her home in the 7100 block of South Union Avenue, according to police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

Shaniya’s family described her as a funny and talkative girl who was full of curiosity. She was an aspiring ballerina who would dress up as a princess in pink, and she could make a room light up.

“She liked to dance and sing. Oh, she was so sweet. Everybody loved her, and I told her I was going to get her into a class,” said Johnnie Sibley, Shaniya’s great grandmother.

“She loved the neighbors. She’d say, ‘Hi,’ and speak to them, just say, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’” added neighbor Randy Sharp. “She was a beautiful little girl. She had God’s spirit in her.”

But something went terribly wrong as Shaniya played with her brother inside their home Tuesday evening.

“The kids were running around playing, and the 5-year-old said Shaniya ran into the TV, and it fell on her,” Sibley said.

Sibley said she heard a loud bang from another room, and found the large TV tube on top of the small child.

“I ran in there and tried to give her CPR, and that’s when the blood was on the side, behind the head,” she said.

Shaniya was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m. at the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital.

Later Tuesday night, workers from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services pulled the other two children from the home, investigating possible neglect.

In 2008, before Shaniya was even born yet, Sibley said she called DCFS because the girl’s mother had a abused a child. But she said the situation has since improved.

“She’s torn up. She’s emotional. She’s still crying,” Sibley said.

Police called the death a “tragic accident,” and said Wentworth Area detectives are conducting a death investigation pending a Wednesday autopsy.

Sibley said the TV was sitting on a stand before it fell. It is not clear how secure the set was.

Shaniya is the second child killed by a falling TV in the past 10 days.

On Oct. 30, 6-year-old Karl Clermont died when a TV fell on his head at his home in the 1700 block of Portsmith Lane in Arlington Heights.

The boy was downstairs by himself when the TV fell, and a live-in aunt found the TV on top of the boy and was unable to remove it, Arlington Heights police Cmdr. Mike Hernandez said.

It’s unclear how the TV fell, but police believe the boy may have tried to climb onto the set. The TV was on a stand prior to the incident, police said.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has some recommendations to prevent TVs from falling. The organization recommends anchoring TVs and entertainment units, as well as dressers and bookshelves, to either a wall or the floor.

The group also suggests putting TVs on a sturdy, low-rise piece of furniture, and pushing the TV back as far as possible.

Also, the group advises, remotes and toys should be kept off the TV stand, so that children will not be tempted to climb up and retrieve them.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.