CHICAGO (CBS) — A 19-month-old toddler girl ran into traffic Monday afternoon and was struck and killed by a CTA bus in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood.

A witness says he saw the girl with some adults on the east side of South Shore Drive at 77th Street when she suddenly bolted into the path of the No. 6 Jackson Park Express. The accident occurred around 3 p.m.

The girl, Cherish Meyers, was believed to have died instantly.

“The baby was 10 or 12 feet in front of them, and then she was right out on the street. Then there the bus was,” witness Willie Butler tells CBS 2’s Mike Parker.

Police say the driver attempted to swerve to avoid the child, but it was too late.

The little girl’s family was understandably distraught.

“We have to make sure that we’re really watchful, not only our own children but of our neighbors’ children,” neighbor Keiana Barrett said.

Chicago police and CTA investigators are looking into what appears to have been a horrible accident. The driver will undergo drug and alcohol testing — standard procedure.

Javier Perez, trustee of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241, which represents CTA bus drivers, said the union’s members are “deeply saddened by loss of life and agony the victims entire family must be going through. Our prayers are with the family. We too pray for the operator who endures the pain and suffering as well.”

Perez said the union would work with the CTA on service improvement plans, driver safety programs, passenger education, and outreach.

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