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Ravenswood school district helping raise money for Sioreli Torres memorial service

Torres, 6, died Sept. 28 after being hit by a car in East Palo Alto

The Ravenswood Elementary School District is helping to raise money for a memorial service for a student who was struck and killed in an East Palo Alto crosswalk Wednesday morning.

Superintendent Maria De La Vega said the district is taking up a collection at each school and has put out a call for donations to help pay for services for 6-year-old Sioreli Torres.

Torres, a Green Oaks Academy student, was crossing Bay Road at Gloria Way on her way to school shortly after 8 a.m. when she was struck by an eastbound car, according to police. Her mother and two younger sisters were a few feet behind her in the crosswalk.

The driver, Alisha Whiteparker, 49, of East Palo Alto, was on her way to teach at Costano Elementary School. De Le Vega said Whiteparker is on administrative leave following the accident.

The district brought in around 30 counselors to speak with students Thursday, and those who need it will receive follow-up counseling, De La Vega said. District staff members are struggling with a great deal of grief over the death, she said.

"We're just trying to start the healing process and trying to make sure all our children feel safe," she said.

Services are expected to be held at Jones Mortuary in East Palo Alto. Donations can be sent to Zamorra Funeral Expenses for Sioreli, c/o Chase Bank, 2300 Broadway St., Redwood City, CA 94063, account #980072078.

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