Pregnant Ore. high school teacher killed in crash near Salem

Pregnant Ore. high school teacher killed in crash near Salem »Play Video
Emily Campbell

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon State Police say a Salem high school teacher was killed in a three-vehicle crash near Salem Friday morning.

Emily Sue Campbell, of Dallas, died when a pickup crossed the center line on Highway 22 near the intersection of Highway 51 and collided with her car and an SUV.

The 32-year-old taught English at North Salem High School. She was pregnant and expecting her first child in April.

"She made us want to learn. She made class fun," said student Paige Burger. "In class she'd always talk about how excited she was to meet baby Isabella."

Burger said everyone was worried when first period started on Friday morning and their teacher wasn't there.

"She wasn't at class and I just remember all these people coming in trying to find out why she wasn't there. And one of the teachers texted her and she never replied."

Students, teachers, school staff and parents held a candlelight vigil for Campbell Friday night.

Many students on Saturday spoke about what Campbell meant to them.

"She taught me to become a better person and become a writer," said Bryana Rupp.

"One of my friends wasn't able to pay for a test for her college and Mrs. (Campbell) personally helped her out of her own pocket," said student Desiree Gonzalez. "She was more than a teacher. She was a friend too."

The pickup driver, 60-year-old Agapito Escutia-Chacon, and the SUV driver, 35-year-old Mark Barnhart Jr., were taken to Salem Hospital with injuries that were serious but not life-threatening.

The Salem-Keizer School District says grief counseling will be available for students and staff starting Monday.

"She was a fantastic person," said student Niki Cooper. "Really caring and loving, and really, honestly, probably cared about her students more than anything."

KATU's Patrick Preston contributed to this story.