Grief counselors for students and staff were on hand today at schools in the Renwick school district as the district reeled from news that a beloved physical education teacher had been killed in a western Sedgwick County traffic accident.
Barbara Hunt was fatally injured in the two-vehicle collision at 21st Street and 199th Street West. The accident happened just before 6:30 a.m. today when a car collided with a flatbed truck pulling a trailer, a Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor said.
“She was a longtime, valued employee of ours,” said Tracy Bourne, Renwick school superintendent, which includes schools in Andale, Garden Plain and Colwich. “She was a great educator, passionate and caring. She always had a smile on her face. She had contact with every student in that building.”
Bourne said counselors met with students and staff in small groups throughout the day to provide support. Hunt taught PE to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Hunt, who was driving the car, was declared dead at the scene, according to Lt. Brad Hoch of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office. Four other people were injured. One was taken to Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis, while three others with minor injuries were taken to Via Christi Hospital on St. Teresa in northwest Wichita, the supervisor said.
The Sedgwick County’s Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the accident, which may have been caused by one of the vehicles failing to stop at a stop sign.
“People need to be paying attention to those stop signs especially in those early morning commutes,” Hoch said. “It is too easy to get distracted.”