Middle Park High School mourns teacher’s death | SkyHiNews.com

Middle Park High School mourns teacher’s death

Tonya Bina
Sky-Hi Daily News
Courtesy photoAmy Gallagher in a school photo.

Amy Gallagher, 26, an English teacher at Middle Park High School, died yesterday morning during a collision on Highway 9 near the border of Grand and Summit counties.

She was on her way to work in Granby after visiting her boyfriend who lives in Summit County, according to East Grand School Superintendent Robb Rankin.

The accident occurred at 6:55 a.m. near Soda Spring Creek Road and Highway 9.

According to a news release from the Colorado State Patrol, Gallagher’s Isuzu Ascender was traveling north, approximately 9 miles south of Kremmling.

At the time of the accident, the road was icy and snowpacked. The Isuzu lost control on the ice and slid into the southbound lane, striking a Ford Bronco, driven by Michael Swoish of Colorado Springs. After impact, both vehicles came to rest in the ditch on the edge of the road.

Both drivers were wearing their seat belts. Swoish was transported to St. Anthony Central in Denver.

Gallagher was taken to Kremmling Medical Center, was stabilized and was being transported to Denver when the ambulance diverted to Summit Medical Center because of cardiac arrest, according to a report from the Summit County Coroner Joanne Richardson. She arrived at Summit Medical Center at 9:17 a.m.. Shortly after, she died from her injuries.

It was the ninth and tenth grade English teacher’s first year teaching in the East Grand School District and her third year in the teaching profession.

The mood was somber yesterday at the school as news about Gallagher reached students and staff.

As a way to express their grief, students wrote messages on a large poster card in the high school hallway that described Gallagher as “energetic,” “outgoing,” “adventurous,” “fun” and “happy.”

“She brought a style to the classroom that kids respected and enjoyed,” said Middle Park High School Principal Dale Fleming.

Gallagher, originally from Florida, was the assistant cross-country coach.

“It’s hard to summarize her,” said fellow coach Wes Bernstein. “She had the best sense of humor of anyone I’ve ever known. She knew how to make others feel relaxed and have fun.”

The high school brought in counselors from other schools to help students deal with the loss.

“Students, they can think that things like this don’t happen to people they know that close,” said Rankin. “She was a very positive addition to the staff. She really seemed to connect with the students in a positive way.”

– Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext 19603 or e-mail tbina@grandcountynews.com.

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