SEDALIA — A longtime high school teacher in Sedalia, Mo., was killed in a car accident late Monday morning.
Police say at about 11:10 a.m., Steven Gooch, 48, was driving southbound on U.S. 65 Hwy when his car collided with a semi, also traveling southbound.
After it collided with the semi, Gooch’s vehicle slid sideways in front of an oncoming northbound pickup. He was pronounced dead at Bothwell Regional Health Center.
The driver of the semi, a 28-year-old, said he thought he was suffering a mechanical problem when he pulled toward the left as Gooch was driving past his driver’s side door.
The driver of the pickup was a 26-year-old man from Marshall, Mo. He received a cut to his head in the crash.
Police said they don’t think any other drivers were at fault and they are still working to determine what caused Gooch to drift into the semi-truck.
“It’s just a hard time, and I just think it brings to light just how precious life is and at any moment, worlds can be changed,” superintendent Brad Pollitt said.
Gooch taught social studies at Smith-Cotton High School. He’d been there since 1997. He is survived by his wife, Terri, who teaches in the Knob Noster Public School system.
“I just keep on thinking that it’s not real and wish that it didn’t have to happen this way to someone so special to everyone,” Jalynne Stratton, a former student said.
FOX 4 spoke with Gooch’s wife and she said the family is in shock right now and needs privacy.
“After everybody found out, the hallways were silent,” Cheyenne Statler, a sophomore, said. “We let people handle it the way they needed to handle it. We were all there, if you needed a shoulder to cry on, everybody was supportive.”
Sedalia police say the investigation into the collision is ongoing. If anyone witnessed it or has any information, please contact the Sedalia Police Department at 660-826-8100.