HOPEWELL, Va. -- Mrs. Leah Reed, a third grade teacher at Dupont Elementary School in Hopewell, was killed Saturday afternoon when her SUV ran off Interstate 95 in Caroline County and struck a tree.
Reed, 35, was remembered as a woman of faith and a teacher whose purpose in life was to make a difference in the lives of her students.
"We can certainly attest that she was successful in this endeavor," Hopewell Superintendent Melody Hackney said. "[Mrs. Reed was] a gentle spirit, a truly good person who had a huge smile, that made everyone happy to be around her."
This was Mrs. Reed's first year at Dupont Elementary. She previously taught for Richmond Public Schools, according to people who knew her.
"[She] loved to sing in school and at church. We are confident she is singing with the angels today," Hackney said.
Her students were told about the fatal crash Sunday evening.
Friends have organized a fundraising effort to help her family cover costs during this difficult time.
"This dearly beloved and kind-spirited wife, daughter, sister, friend, and teacher will be greatly missed by any and all who knew, met, and loved her," the message on her YouCaring page read. "While we are comforted in the knowledge that she is home and worshiping God in heaven, her loss is felt deeply here on earth. All support of love, encouragement, and prayers are felt and appreciated."
The cause of Reed's single-vehicle crash remained under investigation by Virginia State Police.
Wayne Covil is speaking with more people impacted by Mrs. Reed's life. Look for his report beginning on CBS 6 News at Noon.
Friends and family can send their condolence messages here.