First-year teacher from Lakeland Abby Meredith Fishburn killed in Tallahassee crash

3:00 PM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida -- A Lakeland woman who taught at a Tallahassee-area middle school was killed in a crash early Wednesday morning.

The Tallahassee Democrat reports 22-year-old Abby Meredith Fishburn died when her 1997 Ford Taurus collided head-on with a bus carrying 43 passengers around 3:22 a.m.

The driver of the bus, Johnny Brutus, 42, of Naples, received minor injuries and was taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare.

Florida Highway Patrol crash investigator Trooper J.M. Beauford, said Fishburn's car was traveling westbound into eastbound traffic. The car then collided with the bus, which was heading eastbound.

Fishburn was a first-year teacher at Deerlake Middle School in Leon County. Deerlake principal Shane Syfrett said the entire school has been made aware of teacher Abby Fishburn's death and counseling services are available.

"She just graduated from college and was teaching sixth and seventh grade science," Syfrett said about Fishburn. "She had a fantastic rapport with her students. She was doing a great job. She will be very sorely missed by students and faculty."

Fishburn was one of three first-year teachers at Deerlake, Syfrett said. The other two new teachers -- who were extremely close to Fishburn, Syfrett said -- have been given the day off.

"They've taken this loss very hard," he said.

A school memorial service has not been planned yet, Syfrett said. He added the administration is waiting to see what Fishburn's family wants before taking any action.

"(Fishburn) was well on her way to a bright career, he said. "She was a great teacher. Very enthusiastic, very creative with her students. She was very excited about being here. She was one of those teachers who was all about helping the kids learn."

Fishburn graduated from FSU's college of education in the Spring of 2012 with a bachelor's degree in social science education, according to Amber Smalley, director of communications and alumni relations for the college of education.

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