A sixth-grader who died after being struck by an all-terrain vehicle in Bartlett was being remembered Friday for his "big eyes and beautiful smile."
Samuel Sloan, 11, was pronounced dead at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood shortly after 9 p.m. Thursday, more than three hours after the accident on the 800 block of West Appletree Lane. Authorities said the boy was injured about 5:40 p.m. as a male relative drove an ATV onto a trailer in the family's driveway.
"It appears (the relative) was loading the ATV on the trailer and something went wrong," said Batallion Chief Ralph DeFreece of the Bartlett Fire Protection District. He said Samuel was not riding the vehicle.
Samuel, a student at Westfield Middle School in Bloomingdale, was rushed to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, then flown to Maywood.
Westfield Principal Debbie Kling described him as a well-liked student who always wore a smile and kept a cheerful disposition. He "will always be remembered for his big eyes and beautiful smile," she said.
"He was always smiling, always happy -- just a kid who looked like he enjoyed life," Kling said.
School officials said a crisis team of counselors and social workers was on hand to assist students dealing with the loss. Samuel had three siblings, including a sister in seventh grade at Westfield and another sister at DuJardin Elementary School in Bloomingdale.
Authorities said his family lived in Bloomingdale for years but moved to Bartlett in April. Kim Perkins, superintendent of Bloomingdale Elementary District 13, said Samuel planned to finish sixth grade before switching schools.
"He was a good, cheerful student who was loved by staff and classmates," Perkins said. "It's been very hard on all of them. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family."
Further details on the fatal accident weren't immediately available. Bartlett police directed media inquiries to Cmdr. Michael McGuigan, who did not return phone calls.
Staff writer Lee Filas contributed to this story.