Second grader dies during lunch at north Phoenix school

PHOENIX - Counselors responded to a north Phoenix school after a second grade student died after apparently choking on food at lunch.

Javier Lopez, a second grader at Paseo Hills Elementary School, was eating lunch in the cafeteria around 11 a.m. Friday when he became unresponsive.

According to Deer Valley Unified School District spokeswoman Ashley Morris, it appears that an object may have obstructed the 7-year-old's airway.

ABC15 spoke to Javier's friend, Nick, who said Javier was eating a corn dog when he ran to the drinking fountain. Nick ran to get a teacher for help. (Nick's mother stood alongside her son and also spoke to ABC15).

A teacher performed the Heimlich maneuver and the school's nurse assisted with CPR. When their efforts failed, Javier was transported to a nearby hospital where he died just before noon.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family during this tragic time," Morris said.

RELATED: How to help children through the grieving process

Deer Valley's School District's Crisis Response Team is on campus for the remainder of the day to assist any students or staff members in need of support. The Crisis Response Team will also be available next week.

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