Child struck by car Sun­day dies

Boy, 10, was stu­dent at Wade El­e­men­tary

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­

A 10-year-old boy struck by a car Sun­day suc­cumbed to his in­juries and died Tues­day, ac­cord­ing to the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice.

James Elek Maples, 10, of Wal­dorf was rid­ing his bi­cy­cle in a marked cross­walk when he was struck by a Nis­san Al­tima April 10, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

Maples was trans­ported to Chil­dren’s Na­tional Med­i­cal Cen­ter with crit­i­cal in­juries and died April 12. The sher­iff’s of­fice said Maples was wear­ing a hel­met and was in the com­pany of his mother and two friends at the time he was struck.

The driver of the Nis­san, a 28-year-old fe­male, re­mained on the scene. CCSO spokes­woman Diane Richard­son said no charges have yet been filed, and the cause of the ac­ci­dent is still un­known at this time.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors are at­tempt­ing

to re­trieve cell phone records and ve­hi­cle speed data, and the in­ci­dent re­mains un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the Traf­fic Oper­a­tions Unit, Richard­son said.

Maples was a fifth grade stu­dent at Wil­liam B. Wade El­e­men­tary School.

Melisa Car­pen­ter, Maples’ home­room and math teacher, de­scribed James as a well-liked stu­dent of many tal­ents. Car­pen­ter said he played soc­cer, played guitar and vi­olin, and par­tic­i­pated in the school’s chess club, math team and par­tic­i­pated in the school’s MESA [Math­e­mat­ics, Engi­neer­ing, Sci­ence Achieve­ment] pro­gram.

“He was just an amaz­ing kid,” Car­pen­ter said. “One of the big­gest things about James was he al­ways gave to oth­ers. He was grow­ing his hair out so he could do­nate it to Locks of Love.”

Locks of Love is a non­profit that uses do­nated hair to make wigs to give to chil­dren with med­i­cal con­di­tions caus­ing hair loss, such as chil­dren un­der­go­ing chemo­ther­apy.

“He was al­ways think­ing of oth­ers,” Car­pen­ter said.

Car­pen­ter said news of Maples’ death was dev­as­tat­ing to his class­mates, but that they have been shar­ing sto­ries and videos.

“He had such spirit,” Car­pen­ter said. “It’s re­ally helped the kids to be able to share sto­ries about James.”

Charles County Pub­lic Schools spokes­woman Katie O’Mal­ley-Simp­son said a cri­sis team has been sent to the school and grief coun­sel­ing is avail­able to any stu­dents who need it.

“The prin­ci­pal met with each class [Wed­nes­day], and held a brief­ing with staff the day be­fore,” O’Mal­ley-Simp­son said.

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