Visitation and funeral services for former teacher and state lawmaker Dewayne Bunch took place this afternoon in Whitley County.
He died Wednesday more than year after suffering a serious brain injury while breaking up a fight at Whitley County High School.
They gathered to say one final goodbye to Dewayne Bunch after the former state legislator's long struggle to hold on came to an end earlier this week. "People just thought a lot of him and were drawn to him for his expertise and for his knowledge," Kentucky House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover said, "and we will certainly miss that, and we have missed that since the incident."
A veteran of the war in Iraq, Bunch spent 20 years in the Kentucky National Guard, service that earned him the Bronze Star, but it was a fight between students at Whitley County High School, where Bunch taught math and science that critically injured him. Bunch was trying to break up the fight when a punch knocked him to the floor where he hit his head. A difficult rehabilitation followed forcing Bunch to resign his seat in the Kentucky House. His wife Regina won a special election to finish out his term.
"Being up here has helped some. It keeps your mind occupied, but it is just as hard for me today as it was last year April the 12th," Regina Bunch said last spring on the eve of the incident's anniversary, when she spoke to us about her struggle to carry on her husband's work in the legislature. "He would be proud of me regardless just as I am him."
Despite setbacks with his treatment, Bunch held on until his death Wednesday. He leaves behind a loving family and a grateful commonwealth. "It's just a sad time for all of us and for this community," Hoover said, "Certainly a great loss."
The 15-year-old and 16-year-old involved in the fight were charged with assault. The Commonwealth's Attorney told us last week Bunch's death will affect the charges against them, but he couldn't tell us more because of the teens' ages.
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