A Russell County High School science teacher was killed Wednesday morning after a crash on U.S. 431 and Alabama Highway 169, Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor confirmed.
It was a wreck involving a gray, four-door 2008 Suzuki Forenza and a 2005 International Tractor Trailer (18-wheel truck), according to Alabama Sgt. Steven Jarrett. The vehicle was pinned under the truck.
Russell County Coroner Arthur Sumbry Jr. said the wreck happened at 7:08 a.m. Wileatha Brown, 40, was driving the sedan, Jarrett said. The Tuskegee woman was not wearing her seatbelt, the sergeant confirmed. Sumbry said he pronounced her dead on the scene at 8:35 a.m.
Mike Green, superintendent of Russell County Schools, said Brown was in her first year as a science teacher at Russell County High School. "It hurt the school this morning," Green said of the wreck.
Green said students hadn't yet developed a bond with the new science teacher, but many faculty members knew her. Grief counselors were brought in Wednesday more for the faculty than students.
Green said Brown, a talented teacher with years of experience, was recruited to teach students at the high school. "She was very out going," he said.
The driver of the 18-wheel truck was uninjured, Sumbry said.
At 10 a.m., the southbound lanes of U.S. 431 were still closed and drivers were being sent on an alternative route. It appeared those lanes would open in the next 30 minutes.
The northbound lanes are open. The vehicle was removed out from under the 18-wheeler around 9:30 a.m. and was soon towed away. The 18-wheel truck was being taken away around 10 a.m.
Alabama State Troopers are investigating.