'Tragic:' Police investigate how Dublin school trustee killed while pinned between two cars

Dublin police on Thursday said they are investigating exactly how a Dublin Unified school trustee was killed after being pinned between two cars while she was helping out during a food donation drive at Fallon Middle School.

Capt. Nate Schmidt said all the details have not yet been figured out, but from what police have pieced together so far, trustee Catherine Kuo, 48, was helping out a food drive effort on Wednesday just before noon.

As Kuo was placing items into the trunk of a Tesla, a second vehicle, a BMW SUV, was pulling up in line to receive items, Schmidt said.

This second car struck Kuo, pinning her between the two vehicles, Schmidt said. 

The woman who was driving the BMW - and had a child in the SUV with her -  is cooperating with the investigation and this does not appear to be an intentional act, Schmidt said.

Police have not identified the driver but said she is a parent with children in the Dublin district.

Schmidt called it a "very sad and tragic incident."

This is the second death reported at this middle school in four months.

Just before Christmas, a school custodian was found dead and his fiance was found unconscious on campus. Authorities initially wondered if the couple had accidentally mixed chemicals, like bleach, while cleaning. But police said there were no signs of that. Instead, officers said they found ground-up fentanyl, in a bag at the scene.

None of the other trustees wanted to comment on Kuo's sudden death. 

"This is all too raw and painful and we are in a state of shock," Dublin Unified School District spokesperson Chip Dehnert said in an email to KTVU. 

Interim Superintendent Daniel R. Moirao issued a public statement, saying he could barely fathom what happened.

He said Kuo "dedicated so much of her heart, soul, and time to our community."

Kuo also had a "lightness about her, a comforting manner that helped people feel at ease," Moirao said. "She was friendly, nurturing, kind, and generous.  We were lucky to have known her and will miss her more than words can express."

Meanwhile, Kerrie Chabot, a friend, started a fundraiser for Kuo's husband and two children. 

"Catherine was a great example of grace, kindness, and intelligence," Chabot wrote. "She was grounded in her faith. There is a gaping hole in our hearts with the loss of Catherine. Our schools, students, staff, and families are forever indebted to her as she sought to build bridges and worked hard to find common ground."

The youngest students in the Dublin Unified School District returned to class last week and older students through fifth grade were expected to come to class in a part-time situation this week.