Kokomo teacher hit by car during training for charity bike ride

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A Kokomo teacher and swim coach is in the hospital after a car hit her while she was riding her bike.

But Donita Walters was not just out for a joyride, she was training for a mission outside of school - a nearly 4,000-mile ride across the country to support a charity that builds homes for disabled veterans.

Walters is an 8th grade teacher who was practicing for the ride just about every chance she could.

"She's been riding her bike to school, every practice, and she's riding her bike and she's just so excited about all the hard work she's done preparing for this," said another swim coach, Knoel Kaneshiro.

But while on a training ride Tuesday night, a car hit Walters on Davis Road near US 35. A medical helicopter took her to the hospital, where she is recovering.

"I know she's got to be feeling disappointed that she can't go to it, but she's a good person and she just needs encouragement," said friend Christi Martin.

She is getting that encouragement from fellow coaches, her students, swimmers and the president of Howard County Aquatics. It's not so different from the encouragement she has offered all of them over the years.

"And she told the kids that 'this is on my bucket list and you need to make a bucket list and you need to go for your bucket list' and she was just being a good role model," said president Mary White.

The charity ride was to begin this weekend. While it's unclear if it will still go on this year, Walters' friends and supporters are hoping she can scratch it off her bucket list in the future.

"I hope so. I hope...she's got a long recovery ahead of her and I hope she can keep it in her mind frame that she has the ability to do it," said White.

The Wandering Project Facebook page says Walters has several broken bones and a broken neck. They are asking supporters for prayers for her full recovery.