Leary reading teacher Cherie Burleson was killed in a wreck on I30 in Bowie County Thursday morning
Students wrote a heartfelt message on the whiteboard in Burleson's classroom Thursday after hearing the news of her death.
TX DPS officials say the sun may have been in Cherie Burleson's eyes when she rear-ended a loaded tow truck on I30 around 7:30 a.m. on Thursday.
70-year-old Ronald Sladovnik was seriously injured in the 2nd in a series of three wrecks Thursday morning.
Officials on the scene of the third wreck say it was a result of traffic being backed up from the second wreck. The driver of the pickup truck, 46-year-old Keith Rice of New Boston, did not survive.
BOWIE CO., TX (KSLA) -
The Texas Department of Public Safety is still investigating 3 separate accidents on I30 that took the lives of 2 people on Thursday and seriously injured a third.
28-year-old Leary School teacher Cherie Burleson was killed in the first of those wrecks Thursday morning.
TX DPS officials say the sun may have been in Burleson's eyes when she rear-ended a loaded tow truck on I30 around 7:30 a.m.
That first wreck backed up traffic on the interstate, and a few miles down the road, a van driven by 70-year-old Ronald Sladovnik collided with an 18-wheeler. That caused a chain-reaction involving 5 other cars. Sladovnik was airlifted to St. Michael's Hospital in Texarkana, where he is now out of intensive care and listed in fair condition.
46-year-old Keith Rice of New Boston was killed an a third wreck that happened just a few more miles down I30, between Hooks and the Red River Army Depot exit. That wreck is also believed to have been related to traffic backed up by a previous wreck.
Burleson's death left the small Leary School District in shock on Thursday. The reading teacher had been with the school for 3 years. She was on her way in to work when she was killed.
School Superintendent Jim Tankersly said they knew something was wrong when Burleson was late for school. "We tried to contact her by her cell phone because she is always prompt and never late."
That afternoon, silence filled Room 110 at the school. On the board was a note from students that read, "Dear Ms. Burleson, All of us will miss you. We had so many good times. We also had fun at the fair. To let you know you will be missed. We love you!!!"
"She was very energetic. She loved her kids and she will be missed. They all loved her," says Leary teacher Sarah Obenoskey.
The small school district in Bowie County has only 12 teachers, K-8. Burleson's death has hit this small school district with just 12 teachers K-8 hard.
Fellow Leary teacher Brittney Nabors says they are "very devastated and the kids are upset too, but we are going to make it."