CINCINNATI — Staff members at William H. Taft Elementary School say Karen Thompson didn’t go a single day without thinking about her students.
“We were talking about the plans that we had for the following day. Even in her few last moments, (Karen) Thompson was thinking about her students,” said Thompson’s co-worker Karen Lewis.
Students and staff gathered Tuesday to remember the Taft Elementary teacher. They dedicated a bench in her memory.
“She loved her students, she loved her students,” said school principal John Brown.
Thompson, of Mason, died in an alleged wrong-way crash on Interstate 75 in Moraine on March 17. Her husband, Timmy Thompson, and their 10-year-old daughter, Tessa Thompson, also died.
Brown says the bench serves as a symbol of Thompson’s spirit and her daily routine. He says Thompson would sit on a bench laughing and joking with her students at the end of the school day.
“We’re learning to smile again,” Brown said. “We’re able to have laughter in our hearts and laughter in our lives as a result of Mrs. Karen Thompson.”
Thompson had been a teacher in the Cincinnati Public Schools district since 1994.
According to police, Abby Michaels, 21, was driving north in the southbound lanes on I-75 near the Dryden Road exit when her car collided with a vehicle carrying the three members of the Thompson family. The case has been sent to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s office.