NEW PHILADELPHIA, OHIO: Shannon Wigfield, 45, has been identified as one of the victims killed in the horrific I-70 bus crash in Licking County, Ohio on Tuesday, November 14.
Wigfield was a teacher at the Buckeye Career Center for 24 years and was reportedly present on the bus as the parent of a sophomore, Fox 8 reported.
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The bus carrying students and chaperones from the Tuscarawas Valley Local School District was headed to the Ohio School Board Association’s capital conference at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
According to the Associated Press, a total of five vehicles were involved in the crash that left six people dead and at least 18 injured.
Others killed in the crash were teenagers John W Mosely, 18, Jeffery D Worrell, 18, Katelyn N Owens, 15, as well as passengers Dave Kennat, 56, and Kristy Gaynor, 39.
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Who was Shannon Wigfield?
Wigfield, an English teacher at Buckeye Career Center for 24 years, was a loving wife and proud mother of three children. She was born May 10, 1977, in Dennison, to parents Ronald L and Susan Abbuhl of New Philadelphia, according to her obituary.
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The educator graduated from Claymont High School in 1995 before graduating from Ohio University in 2000. She reportedly enjoyed shopping, especially at Target and Dollar General, making and, most importantly, helping others.
Wigfield married her husband, Richard, on October 18, 2003 and had three children, namely Riley, Evan and Leah. Richard would be a firefighter and doctor in Jackson Township.
“When it’s this close, things happen differently and you hear a lot about this type of thing. Everyone is trying to get by and help the Wigfield family as best we can at this point,” said Damon Gallucci, president of Jackson Firefighters Local 2280.
The firefighters union reportedly came together to create a donation fund in Wigfield’s memory to support Richard and their children, including the sophomore who survived the accident in which his mother, Wigfield, lost the life.
Buckeye Career Center superintendent and Tusky Valley graduate Bob Alsept, who was attending the Ohio School Board Association’s capstone conference when the fatal bus crash occurred, remembered Wigfield as a ” wonderful teacher.”
“I just found out that she actually was and she lost her life. It was a horrible day,” Alsept said, according to Fox 8. “I don’t ever remember seeing her and for thinking she was having anything other than a great day because she had a smile on her face,” he shared.
Alsept also mentioned that Wigfield “carried himself with enthusiasm and you know what that rubs off on students, they’re drawn to that.”
“She was a wonderful teacher, but more than what she taught them, she really made them feel special, didn’t let them fail, could be hard on them like she had to be, but also let them know that “She cared deeply about their success,” he added.
Buckeye Career Center students and staff were encouraged to wear red to show solidarity with Tusky Valley High School on Thursday, Nov. 16, while mourning the loss of one of their own.
“While we’re talking to our staff, go home, hug your loved ones because you never know. I would say this to parents and students, don’t leave it without saying it. Don’t leave without a hug because that’s it just too fragile.”, Alsept said.
Meanwhile, Gallucci said the union is well aware of the other victims who died in the same crash that killed Wigfield and is encouraging everyone to support the victims’ six families through other fundraisers.
When and where will Shannon Wigfield’s funeral take place?
According to his obituary, Wigfield’s funeral will be held on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the Buckeye Career Center in New Philadelphia and officiated by Pastor Carol McCartney.
His burial will follow at Fort Laurens Cemetery in Bolivar with arrangements by Lebold-Smith Funeral Home.
Wigfield’s family suggested donations be made to the donors’ favorite charity in lieu of flowers.
The English teacher is survived by her parents, Ronald L and Susan, her husband Richard, their three children and their in-laws Richard and Reccine.
She is also survived by her grandmother Karleen Wilson, her brother Craig (Heidi) Abbuhl, a sister-in-law, her sister Lisa (Jim) Heuser, her brother-in-law Christopher (Richelle) Woytko, her nephews and nieces Hunter Abbuhl , CJ Abbuhl, Ashleigh Heuser, Lexi Heuser, Ryan Woytko, Kyle Woytko and Avery Woytko, among other extended family and friends.
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