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7-year-old dies when tree hauler, ATV collide

A 7-year-old Hickory Grove boy was killed Monday afternoon when the four-wheeler he was riding collided with a pulpwood truck, authorities said.

Robert Keith Harris died at the scene, said York County Deputy Coroner Ev Amick. Keith was wearing a helmet.

Around 4 p.m., Keith drove the four-wheeler down his grandparents' driveway at 1730 Scenic View Road in western York County, Amick said. The boy got to the road at the same time a pulpwood truck was passing by.

The ATV collided with the truck's trailer, fatally injuring Keith.

The S.C. Highway Patrol is investigating the crash, Amick said. A spokesman for the agency could not be reached late Monday.

Keith would have been a first grader this fall at Hickory Grove/Sharon Elementary School, said principal Dietrich Long, who had known the boy since kindergarten.

"It's gonna be hard for me to get some sleep tonight," he said Monday. "No principal wants to hear of such a tragedy."

Long remembered Keith as a little boy who loved fried bologna sandwiches. He was also tough. In kindergarten, Long said, Keith broke his leg in a trampoline accident and had to miss school.

When he returned to classes, he had a limp, but he didn't seem to mind.

"He never stopped smiling," Long said. "He never knew that he was in any pain."

Keith's last name became Harris a few months ago, after his mother remarried and his step-father adopted him, Long said.

Even though students are out on summer break, Long said counselors will be at the school today if anyone needs to talk.

"We just saw good things in him," he said of Keith. "We're gonna miss him."

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