EL PASO, Texas - An 11-year-old Parkland Middle School student died after he was struck by a vehicle near the school during a walkout protest, Ysleta ISD Superintendent Dr. Xavier De La Torre confirmed.
University Medical Center of El Paso identified the child as Jonathan Benko. In a news release, UMC said Jonathan's mother, Ashley, works as a Registered Nurse in UMC's Emergency Department. His uncle, Michael Benko, works as a Respiratory Therapist for the hospital.
"All of us at UMC are heartbroken by the loss of a child belonging to one of our Associates, especially a child as young as Jonathan," the hospital said.
The deadly accident was reported at around 10 a.m. on the northbound lanes of Loop 375.
A police spokesman said a group of students was crossing the highway when the 11-year-old boy was struck. Police could not say why the students were crossing the highway.
De La Torre said said several students asked to go home after learning of the "tragic accident." All extra-curricular activities at Parkland Middle School have been canceled for the remainder of the week, De La Torre said.
"This was an isolated group of students who breached the school's perimeter," De La Torre said, "We believe this was a group of about 12 to 15 students."
Police said the vehicle involved was a Ford pickup truck and that the driver stopped after the student was hit.
De La Torre could not say whether the students who walked away from the school would face any disciplinary action. The superintendent said the school had about 10 individuals keeping an eye on students participating in a walkout to protest recent school shootings. The walkout was staged within the school campus.