Lawmaker marks first anniversary of husband's tragedy

By Gabriel Roxas | 

Thursday marks the first anniversary of the tragedy that critically injured former state representative Dewayne Bunch. He suffered a head injury while trying to break up a fight between students at Whitley County High School where he taught.

Regina Bunch never thought she'd be the one to hold public office, but a year after Dewayne Bunch's tragedy she's already looking for ways to advance her husband's agenda even after the current legislative session. "I think that he is proud that I am still maintaining some sense of normalcy the best I can," Regina Bunch said Wednesday outside a fundraiser in Frankfort, "and he would be proud of me regardless just as I am him."

Since taking over her husband's seat in the Kentucky legislature, Regina Bunch has looked for causes she thinks he would have championed. "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."

A year ago Dewayne Bunch split his time between the Capitol and Whitley County High School where he taught science. When a fight broke out between students, Bunch jumped in to stop it and was hit with a stray punch. His injuries have led to a difficult recovery process. "Dewayne is still not able to talk nor walk, but he can listen, and he has his mannerisms. He makes facial expressions to where you know that he knows."

When WKYT met with Regina Bunch Wednesday, she had just come from the rehab center in Louisville where her husband continues to make progress. "We made the joke that I was going to keep that seat until he could come back and have it, and I was going to make him run against me," Regina Bunch said laughing, "so whenever he's ready to run against me."

Regina Bunch tells WKYT that on Thursday public schools in Whitley County will pause during the school day to honor Dewayne Bunch, and she invites everyone to wear the color red as tribute to her husband.

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