NBC10 - Doug Shimell
Will and Jamie Reid were killed in a limo crash on the way back from a friend's wedding on Sunday night in Ashville, N.C. NBC10's Doug Shimell talks to the family as they recount memories of the newlywed Philadelphia teachers.
A limo driver has been charged in the deaths of a newlywed couple from the Philadelphia area.
Last August, William Reid, 26, and his wife Jamie Reid, 25, were visiting Asheville, N.C. The couple was riding in the back of a town car heading east on Interstate 26 when police say the driver, identified as 45-year-old Rodney Koon of Asheville, lost control of the vehicle. The car went down an embankment and struck a tree.
Jamie Reid, who was pregnant at the time of the crash, died at the scene along with her child. William Reid died at the hospital. Koon was taken to the hospital where he was treated and later released.
After a long investigation, police determined that Koon was under the influence at the time of the crash. He was arrested and charged with DWI and two counts of Felony Death by Motor Vehicle. He was released on a $55,000 unsecured bond.
(Pictured: Rodney Koon)
William and Jamie had just gotten married back on May 26. William worked as a math teacher with the People for People Charter School in Philadelphia. He was named the Valedictorian for Phillipsburg High School Class of 2005, earned a BA degree from Dartmouth College and a Masters of Education Degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jamie, who grew up in Washington, moved to Philadelphia after graduating Magna Cum Laude at Whitman College. She joined Teach for America and taught writing as well as literature to middle schoolers in Philadelphia. Before her death, she taught at Harrity Elementary, a mastery charter school in Philadelphia. Reid also earned a Masters degree in Urban Education from the University of Pennsylvania where she graduated with William in May of 2012.
"The whole life history of your child runs past you in a very brief period of time. It's a terrible thing," said Anne Reid, Will's mother.
Anne described the moment her family was told about the crash.
"We were all in the same room at the same time," she said. "Thank God we had each other. That's what you do. You fall together and we stayed physically attached to each other for the rest of the night."
Jamie's parents, Ron and Kay Soukup, say they found out about the crash when a police officer and fire department chaplain showed up at their home in Sammamish, Washington.
"Kay and I were simply numb," said Soukup, who says he thought it was odd when he didn't hear from Jamie because she would always text them when she landed.
Some of Jamie's former students wrote to NBC10 and described her as "one of the best teachers they ever had." They also said she was always there to give advice or help with anything they needed.
The families are honoring the couple by helping future students through two scholarship funds: William and Jamie Reid Scholarship Fund for the Valedictorian, c/o Phillipsburg High School, 200 Hillcrest Boulevard, Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
Contributions can also be made to the Jamie Soukup Reid Memorial Scholarship fund, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA 99362.