Hopewell elementary school teacher killed in Caroline County crash

Photo Credit: YouCaring.com (Leah Reed)

CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A North Chesterfield woman was killed in a fiery single-vehicle crash Saturday afternoon in Caroline County.

Virginia State Police (VSP) said that at 12:57 p.m., 35-year-old Leah M. Reed was driving a gray Chevrolet Captiva heading northbound on 1-95 at mile marker 111.3

Photo Credit: YouCaring.com (Leah Reed)

VSP said Reed was traveling in the left lane and abruptly veered off the road, hitting a tree. The SUV then caught on fire.

Reed died at the scene.

No one else was in the vehicle.

Reed was a teacher at DuPont Elementary School, according to Hopewell City Public School officials.

Superintendent Melody Hackney released a statement Monday morning:

“Our hearts are so heavy in Hopewell today.  We are extremely saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of Mrs. Leah Reed.  Mrs. Reed was a beloved 3rd grade teacher at Dupont Elementary School.  We will be forever grateful for the short period of time she worked with us.  Mrs. Reed was a new teacher to HCPS this year.  We were so fortunate to find her.  She believed in and was an example every day of her calling to this work.  It was her mission and purpose in life to make a difference in the lives of her students, and we can certainly attest that she was successful in this endeavor at Dupont this year.  Mrs. Reed was described by staff at Dupont as “a gentle spirit…a truly good person…who had a huge smile, that made everyone happy to be around her.”  Mrs. Reed was proud to be a woman of faith, who loved to sing in school and at church.  We are confident she is singing with the angels today.  She loved her school and her Dupont family.  She often joked about never leaving…we are honored she was so happy in her assignment and thankful for the joy it brought to her each and every day.

Her students and their families were notified by telephone last evening before returning to school after the holiday break this morning.  Additional counselors and school board office administrators are on hand at the school to support the faculty today and into the rest of the week, as necessary.  After school programming this week has been cancelled, and all parents will be notified of this loss in a letter going home with students this afternoon.  We celebrate her life…her legacy…and her impact during the short time we had the privilege to serve with her.”

A YouCaring page was created for Reed, which has raised over $3,000. The site reads:

“This dearly beloved and kind-spirited wife, daughter, sister, friend and teacher will be greatly missed by any and all who knew, met, and loved her. While we are comforted in the knowledge that she is home and worshiping God in heaven, her loss is felt deeply here on earth.”

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

Never miss another Facebook post from 8News

Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips toiReport8@wric.com.