Staff, students remember elementary teacher killed in crash


Reporter - Kendall Downing

HERRIN, Ill. - Students and staff at Herrin Elementary School paused Thursday to remember longtime teacher Vicki Bundy.

The 59-year-old taught fourth grade there for 13 years and was a mentor to younger teachers.

Bundy died Tuesday in an accident on Interstate 57 in Centralia, Illinois after visiting her mother. Investigators said she pulled out in front of a pickup truck.

Thursday morning, students at Herrin Elementary took a few minutes to pay tribute to Bundy.

Teachers led them out to the parking lot where they observed a moment of silence for her and released balloons in the air.

The balloons were purple and gold, her favorite colors. Other staff members wore ribbons in her memory.

"It's almost like I look up, expect to see her standing there, and she's not," said Kaci Lukens, a fourth-grade teacher.

Other teachers described Bundy as a loving and caring educator and role model.

"Life's short. And it could be any one of us. You never know. But it makes you think and makes you value life and just the simple times," said Jonathan Estes, a fourth-grade teacher.

Herrin Elementary Principal Andrew Shelby said the school is not immune to tragedy. Bundy's death marks the three year anniversary, to the day, of the loss of another teacher to cancer.