Classmate remembers 7-year-old girl killed in traffic accident

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Students at Wellborn Elementary are mourning the loss of their classmate and friend.

Jasmine Rodriguez, 7, died Wednesday night after investigators say a suspect fleeing police crashed into the car she was traveling in with her mother and two brothers.

"She was like a good friend to me," Daniel Angel, classmate, said. Daniel didn't know about the accident until a counselor told his class Thursday morning.

Wellborn school sent students home with a letter asking parents to have an honest conversation with their kids.

"You tell them what happened, you talk about the facts, you talk about their own feelings and for kids at that age it's a hard process," District Spokesman David Smith said.

It's going to be a long road for Daniel and an even longer one for Jasmine's mother and two brothers who were in the car when the accident occurred.

"The hearts of every man and woman in this department are breaking for the families involved," Kansas City Kansas Police Chief Ellen Hanson said.

The crash served as a changing point for the department. It was the second fatality caused by a suspect running from police in just as many months. They've immediately suspended all chases that don't involve a serious felon.

In the meantime, teachers and counselors will be available for students to talk about the tragic loss of a 7-year-old girl, whom Daniel said was great at math and was always smiling.

"We played together on the swings and she was my best friend," he said.

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