ABC News

Mother killed trying to block out-of-control car from hitting children outside Texas school

Aug. 15, 2018
Kharisma James was fatally struck in the parking lot of Tippin Elementary in El Paso.

A woman who put herself between out-of-control car and a group of schoolchildren was killed outside a Texas elementary school after the car struck her.

ABC News reports that Kharisma James and three students, two of whom were her children, were struck Monday afternoon on the first day of classes by a driver who had apparently hit the accelerator instead of the brake in the parking lot of Tippin Elementary School in El Paso.

As the car headed forward, James stepped in front of the three children and took the brunt of the hit, witnesses reported.

James died at the scene, the district says, and the three injured students were taken to hospitals.

The three children, who are 6, 7 and 10, are in serious condition but improving, The El Paso Times reports.

James, 33, was a nurse with The Hospitals of Providence.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend, Kharisma James," said Nicholas Tejeda, market CEO of The Hospitals of Providence. "This is a tragic loss for our THOP family. Our hearts go out to her family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time."

Authorities say the accident happened when Roger Hawking, 58, was backing out of a space in Tippin Elementary's parking lot after picking up his grandchildren. Officials described the driver as "disoriented" and said he stepped on the accelerator instead of the brakes on his car.

Classes resumed Tuesday at Tippin, the district said, and grief counselors were on hand to help students and staff cope with the tragedy.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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