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Round Lake community tries to deal with ‘shock’ of boy’s death

Round Lake fire officials  Round Lake Beach police look over scene fatal bike accident Rollins Road Lotus Drive Round

Round Lake fire officials and Round Lake Beach police look over the scene of a fatal bike accident at Rollins Road and Lotus Drive in Round Lake Beach. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: July 31, 2012 1:40AM

ROUND LAKE BEACH — The Round Lake area is mourning the death of a 12-year-old boy described as a witty and energetic student at Round Lake Middle School who was hit by a landscaper’s truck.

Jose “Tony” Zamundio of Round Lake was riding his bicycle southbound on Lotus Drive just before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when he apparently tried to cross Rollins Road against the light.

Witnesses told Round Lake Beach police the driver of a landscaping truck, who was westbound, had the green light, according to Deputy Chief Richard Chiarello. The young man was pronounced dead at Advocate Condell Medical Center, Libertyville, at 7:29 p.m., according to the Lake County Coroner’s Office.

“We’re just trying to deal with the shock of it,” Constance Collins, superintendent of Round Lake Community Unit School District 116, said Thursday.

“His teacher, Diane Gleeson, said he was inquisitive, witty and eager to learn,” she said. He was known as “Tony” by students and staff, but she didn’t know if he had picked out the nickname or it was given to him by his family.

“Principal Ryan Hawkins said he was energetic and had a smile that lit up the room,” said Collins. “He will be missed deeply by the school staff.

Grief counselors were made available Thursday for staff, students and community members.

“It’s a double tragedy because the landscaping company is also one of our school district families,” she said.

No tickets were given to the driver of the landscaping truck that struck Zamundio and the Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team is also involved in the investigation, according to Chiarello.

“The preliminary investigation resulted in no charges,” he said, but the case will be revisited after more technical information is retrieved.

“The driver was cooperative,” he said, but he would not detail any other information such as whether or not a blood draw was taken, which is common in fatal accidents.

“According to witnesses, the driver had the green light,” he said. Apparently, the young man was riding alone.

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