Crisis Counselors Help School Cope with Shelltown Mother's Tragic Death

Ana Herrera Rodriguez died in the Shelltown collision on Jan. 22

By Matt Rascon and R. Stickney
|  Thursday, Jan 23, 2014  |  Updated 11:47 AM PDT
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NBC 7's Matt Rascon reports from Balboa Elementary where crisis counselors met with parents to help them explain the tragic death that occurred about a block from the school involving a mother and two students.

NBC 7's Matt Rascon reports from Balboa Elementary where crisis counselors met with parents to help them explain the tragic death that occurred about a block from the school involving a mother and two students.

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Crisis counselors met with students, parents and teachers the day after a San Diego mother was struck and killed shielding two children from an oncoming car.

The San Diego Unified School District sent counselors to Balboa Elementary in Shelltown, the school where two of the children involved in Wednesday’s fatal crash attend preschool.

The tragic death of 39-year-old Ana Herrera Rodriguez hit close to home for many connected to the school.

Rodriguez was walking her daughter and a neighbor’s daughter to school around 7:40 a.m. when the three of them were struck by an SDG&E truck. Her family said Rodriguez put herself in harm’s way to save the girls.

One child is still in the hospital. The other child was released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

Read: Hero Mom Remembered at Vigil

Kathy Martinez said she tried to explain what happened to her son but he’s so young, it’s tough for him to understand.

“The baby came out of the hospital in the car and you know, she's beat up with bruises and he's asking me questions like what's wrong with her you know, is she okay? What happened?” she said.

Martinez was among several preschool parents who were invited to meet with a crisis counselor to talk about what they can say to their kids if they have questions or concerns.

SDUSE Counselor Monica Martin advises parents to be honest with their children.

"That we respond in a way with honesty and also that our children know they're safe in their home and that we have a lot of caring adults that love them and are supporting them through any strong feelings that they are having,” Martin said.

Some parents told NBC 7 that they don't plan on sharing details with their kids but if it comes up they now have a better idea of how to respond.

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