Former student remembers EKU professor who died after being hit by car

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 4:48 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Many people are shocked by the tragic death of EKU professor Dr. Suzanne Byrd.

“Honestly she was at school all the time,” EKU alum Jana Herron said.

That’s how Herron remembers Dr. Byrd, who taught anatomy. Herron worked for Byrd as a teaching assistant in the late 1990s.

“She and I worked together in the advanced anatomy lab to set up labs every week for the students, we would set up tests together, and of course we would grade those tests together,” Herron said.

The two formed a close bond. Byrd became Herron’s mentor and assisted with researching Herron’s master thesis.

“She showed me what being a teacher is truly like,” Herron said.

Herron now teaches anatomy and chemistry at a high school in Tennessee. She learned from her former student, who now attends EKU, that Dr. Byrd had passed away.

“She said, ‘Ms. Herron I have some bad news that I think should come from me because I don’t want you to learn it from anywhere else,’” Herron said.

Richmond police said Byrd died last week after being struck by a car. It happened in the Wendy’s parking lot on North Keeneland Drive.

“It’s one of those moments where you don’t really know how to feel,” Herron said.

Now, Herron is left with the memories, like the time Byrd attended her wedding and decorated a lab for her birthday.

“She brought party hats for all the skeletons and for the torso man. She brought cupcakes for the students. We enjoyed celebrating my 24th birthday,” Herron said.

The university is in the process of reaching out to Dr. Byrd’s family and figuring out ways to honor her memory.

“I would love to see a memorial, I would love to see a scholarship in her honor. I would want to be among the first to contribute to that because I think it’s really important that we honor her and that we see her as leaving such a legacy for education,” Herron said.

Richmond police are still investigating the crash that killed Dr. Byrd. So far, no criminal charges have been filed.

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