Teacher remembers assistant principal killed in Knox crash

FLATLICK, Ky. (WYMT) - Details surrounding the violent crash Monday in Knox County that left five people dead are slowly coming in. One of the victims, Patricia Caldwell, was the assistant principal at James A. Cawood Elementary. We spoke to one of the teachers there, who says Caldwell will be sorely missed.

The accident happened shortly after 5:00 Monday on U.S. Highway 25E.

"Upon arrival at the scene, troopers discovered that there were five individuals involved, said state police Sergeant Jimmy Young. "All five were pronounced deceased at the scene due to the severity of the collision and their injuries."

Police say a car driven by 31-year-old David Vanderpool of Williamsburg crossed the center line and struck another vehicle driven by Gary Caldwell of Putney. Also in the car was Caldwell's wife Patricia, and Julia and Brent Robinson, the couple's daughter and son-in-law who lived in Florida.

Patricia Caldwell was the assistant principal at James A. Cawood Elementary School. Teacher Connie Engle says she was shocked to hear what had happened.

"You hear about things, but you never know that it's going to be, she said. "What they say hit home ... I was numb."

Students and teachers alike are struggling to come to terms with the loss of one of their own. Educators we talked to say Caldwell was a vital part of the school's family.

"She was always a good listener. She was that person you could go in and you could cry on her shoulder. You could be mad at the world and she was the listener, and the children perceived her as 'she could fix it'."

What can not be fixed, Engle says, is the hole Caldwell leaves in the lives of everyone that knew her.

"You know the Lord tells us to lean not to our own understanding. We'll have to find comfort in the Lord," she said.

The school will take time to mourn, Engle says, but even as the pain of this tragedy fades, Caldwell's legacy will never be forgotten.

Engle says the family was traveling home after picking up the Robinsons at the airport. Police are still piecing together exactly what happened that led to the crash. Preliminary reports suggest alcohol may have been a factor.


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