Texas Middle School Student Killed On National Walkout Day
El Paso, Texas – An 11 year old Texas middle school student was hit and killed today during the time of the National Walkout when he tried to cross the freeway – Loop 375 in northeast El Paso. Though he was not actually participating in the walkout, he and another group of 12-15 students jumped the wall and left the campus during the walkout. It was a fatal mistake.
The students from Parkland Middle School took advantage of the National Walkout Day today to sneak off and do their own thing. Though a staff member was posted at the front and back doors of the school, the group of students left by a side door.
Jonathan Benko, 11, was struck by a Ford F150 on the busy freeway. Ysleta Independent School District officials are questioning the other members of the group that were with him, trying to determine why they left the sanctioned event. Hint: necause they’re kids, and that’s what kids at that age do…whatever seems most exciting. The actual walkout ended at the football field.
According to the El Paso Times,
The accident occurred on Loop 375 North near Bormac Street, El Paso police said via Twitter. The boy was taken to University Medical Center of El Paso.
The section of Loop 375 has two southbound lanes and two northbound lanes. Bormac Street crosses under the highway less than a block from where the pedestrian accident occurred.
Parkland Middle School and Parkland High School are located on opposite sides of the highway.
The driver of the truck stopped after the collision, said Sgt. Robert Gomez, a police spokesman.
Crossing a freeway can be extremely dangerous, Gomez warned. “Vehicles are traveling at a high rate of speed and it’s next to impossible to stop for a pedestrian on the highway,” he said.
The highway remained closed until Friday afternoon as the police traffic investigators worked at the scene.
Grief counselors were deployed to the school, and all school events were cancelled. Donations to the family can be made online at the Jonathan Benko Memorial Fund.
Today an 11 year old El Paso boy who attended Parkland Middle School was struck and killed on Loop 375 during the “walkout” that Ysleta School District organized. That boy was the same age as my Jai💔
I pray for his family.
I also pray they sue the hell out of Ysleta ISD…
— Angela Jolene Surratt (@MrsAngelaJolene) April 20, 2018
Officials identify Parkland Middle School student who was killed after leaving campus during today’s National School Walkout. A memorial fund to help his family also has been established. https://t.co/NYKNgcllko
— El Paso Times (@elpasotimes) April 21, 2018
I would not allow my children to participate in a walk out at school. Does not matter what my stance is on the issue. Keep politics out of school, and if you can’t, don’t make it biased. An El Paso student walking out was killed today as a result from being hit by a car. Sad.
— Vicki (@Lectronica) April 20, 2018