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Principal reacts to car crash that killed Morton teacher

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KATHERINE KING

MORTON (HOI) -- Some second grade students in Morton started their day without their teacher Wednesday morning, after a car accident took her life.

Tuesday, Katherine King was teaching her classroom at Bethel Lutheran School in Morton. It was ice-cream day and Principal, John Jacob, said King invited him to her classroom celebration.

"I didn't know that was gonna be the last time that I saw her with the kids. But I'm glad that was the last memory," said Jacob.

Police said the 25-year-old of West Peoria died in a three car crash on North Sterling Ave, after 9 pm on Tuesday.

An autopsy showed she likely died instantly from blunt force trauma.

"It's tough. Our hearts are breaking, mine is breaking," said Jacob.

Neighbors nearby the scene said they could hear screeching tires from their living rooms, followed by enormous booms.

King taught at the school for three years, including her student teaching. Jacob said it was an honor to watch her grow as an educator.

"She was just starting to really emerge and find her true voice as a teacher. And it was spectacular. She was a a star in the making," said Jacob.

He said staff and her student had the day off to be with friends and share memories of what they loved about Miss King.

"We spent a lot of time talking a lot about her smile, her personality, her bright nature," said Jacob.

Four other people were hurt in the crash. The crash is currently under investigation by Peoria Police.

As for King's memories, Jacob said the school will eventually have a memorial dedicated to her.

Paige Blanzy

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