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A Dallas police officer driving to a disturbance call Friday night struck and killed a 10-year-boy on a bicycle who darted in front of him, officials said.
The incident occurred about 7:30 p.m. as the officer drove north in the 2600 block of Belt Line Road near Kleberg Road, south of U.S. Highway 175, police said.
Lt. Vernon Hale, a police spokesman, said the officer had just left a disturbance call and was going to help officers with another disturbance when he struck the boy. The officer, who was not identified Friday night, was not using his lights or siren, Lt. Hale said.
The boy was riding on the road's shoulder and turned into the street just before the officer struck him, police said.
"It was just a dark road, not well lit," Lt. Hale said. "This sounds like a combination of factors" that caused this accident.
The boy was taken to Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, where he was pronounced dead. His name was not released, pending notification of relatives.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS
 

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Dallas police mourn with Family, friends of boy fatally hit by cruiser

By Matthew Haag
The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS - Cole Berardi probably never saw the oncoming police cruiser.
On Friday night, Cole cut across a curved section of Belt Line Road in southeast Dallas that's illuminated at night only by the moon and motorists' headlights.
An oncoming Dallas police officer didn't notice Cole until it was too late, hitting him about 7:30 p.m. and ejecting him off his green bike. He landed on the road's shoulder near several oak trees.
Cole, 10, died a few hours later at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas.
"It's a tragedy," said Ron Ware, Cole's family's pastor, standing outside their trailer in the Rylie area of southeast Dallas. "We wish we could play the time back, but we can't."
Senior Cpl. Michael Vaughn, a four-year veteran, was leaving one disturbance and driving to another when he hit Cole, police spokesman Lt. Vernon Hale said. Cpl. Vaughn was not using his warning lights or siren at the time, Lt. Hale said, adding that officers aren't required to use warning lights and sirens when responding to a disturbance call. Dallas police said the boy was not wearing a helmet.
The posted speed limit along that section of Belt Line Road is 40 mph. Investigators have not determined how fast Cpl. Vaughn was going when the accident occurred. The department placed him on administrative leave, and he's seeing a mental-health professional, police said.
Family members said Cole loved riding bikes, but also enjoyed taking them apart and putting them back together. Two bikes with missing rear wheels rested against his trailer's porch Saturday morning.
"That's my son, and that's who I loved," said Brett Inman, Cole's stepfather. "He was a wonderful boy. He will never be forgotten."
Cole was a fourth-grader at Kleburg Elementary.
Neighbors and friends arrived at Cole's trailer Saturday and said their condolences. Norma and David Burnett walked up to Mr. Inman and gave him a pound cake.
"We are so sorry," Ms. Burnett told Cole's stepfather. "We loved your little boy."
Mr. Burnett told Mr. Inman that he made a cross this morning and placed it and a teddy bear at the accident site.
As the Burnetts were getting ready to leave, a boy wearing jeans and holding a football underneath his right arm approached the house. He looked at the crowd of people.
"You looking for Cole?" Mr. Burnett asked.
The boy nodded. Mr. Burnett put his arm around the boy and said something. The boy hung his head and walked away.

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