Community mourns loss of teacher killed in SUV crash

NEOSHO, Mo. — A Neosho kindergarten teacher died Wednesday, September 5th, 2018, around 3:30p.m. when an SUV hit her. She was guarding a crosswalk at Benton Elementary School. Neosho is in southwestern Missouri about 70 miles west of Springfield.

Schools in Neosho are mourning the loss of the much beloved teacher, 48-year-old Angel Hayes. Police Chief David Kennedy said 88-year-old Erwin Parker picked up his granddaughter from Benton Elementary and was still in the parent-pickup lane when he says his foot got stuck between the brake and the accelerator.

The man’s SUV hit Angel Hayes; she had been directing traffic. Parker’s SUV also hit another vehicle.

When officers arrived, they found Hayes trapped underneath the man’s SUV. Rescue workers lifted the vehicle. The teacher died at the scene.

No charges have been filed against the driver.

Hayes taught for 25 years, 19 of those years she spent in the Neosho district.

Superintendent Jim Cummins said the district has been blessed to have Ms. Hayes as part of the Neosho team for those 19 years. She worked at the Field Early Childhood Center and at Benton Elementary. Hayes was a well known mentor to teachers throughout the district.

“Yesterday was one of those days school administrators pray they will never have to face. Teachers not only teach together, they attend church together, spend time with each other’s families, and raise their own children together. This loss will be felt just as the loss of a family member,” said Cummins.

Counselors will be available for students and district employees, according to a release sent out by the superintendent.