A young boy was being cared for by distraught relatives last night after watching his mother die in a freak car accident soon after picking him up from school.
Witnesses described frantic scenes as the boy, believed to be about eight years old, screamed, "This is my mother", as the woman lay motionless in a pool of blood after being hit by a white van in Walcott Street, Mt Lawley.
The boy, understood to be an only child, had been travelling in a blue Holden Barina being driven by his mother when it collided with the back of a red BMW convertible about 3.30pm.
_The West Australian _understands the two drivers exchanged details before the woman returned to her car.
Sen. Const. Dave Magorian said it was possible the mother had been trying to pull her son out of harm's way as he tried to leave the car when the white van hit her with such force that she was sent through the air and landed metres away.
It is believed the mother, aged about 39, had collected her son from a Highgate primary school at the end of the school day.
"There is some suspicion that a child had got out of her car and she had got out on the road because she was concerned about the safety of her child," Sen. Const. Magorian said.
"They are always horrible circumstances when someone dies on the road.
"This one is a little more unusual because we have a minor collision that ends up turning into something certainly more serious.
"In this particular case the lady who has died has been killed in front of her child."
One witness, who did not want to be named, told _The West Australian _that she rushed out to see what had happened and tried to reassure the woman that an ambulance was on its way.
The witness said it was clear that the mother's injuries were serious as a pool of blood formed around her body.
She said the young boy kept screaming, "This is my mother", as passers-by tried to help.
Family and members of the Sudanese community arrived at the accident scene to console the boy.
Some collapsed in grief, wailing.
It is understood one of the family members was the boy's father.
Joshua Marshall-Clarke said his girlfriend was driving the red BMW and he had driven to the scene to assist her.
He said he and his girlfriend heard the impact of the second accident and turned to see the woman launched through the air.
Nearby residents Alex and James Pirone said they heard screeching tyres and a lot of shouting before going to the scene.
The male driver of the van was not seriously hurt.
Anyone who witnessed either accident is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.