Palestine ISD teacher killed in crash called ‘a bright light in the community’

Group was returning from Dallas Mavericks playoff game
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Published: May. 23, 2022 at 10:04 AM CDT|Updated: May. 23, 2022 at 6:39 PM CDT
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PALESTINE, Texas (KLTV) - Palestine ISD said a teacher at Palestine Junior High died in a crash Sunday night.

According to the district, Michael Coyne, a teacher and coach at Palestine Junior High, had attended the Dallas Mavericks game and was returning home Sunday night when he and the passengers in the vehicle were struck by another vehicle.

“He was a brilliant light in the community and a brilliant light in the district,” Palestine ISD Public Relations Director Larissa Loveless said.

WEBXTRA: Palestine ISD teacher killed in crash, students injured

“Anytime anyone needed a helping hand or there was anything going on at the high school or junior high, Coach Coyne was always there,” Loveless said.

Coach Coyne was the women’s volleyball coach and a speech and communications teacher.

“Coach liked to win and he always pushed them to be the best,” Loveless said.

The district said the passengers who are currently undergoing treatment in Dallas are students in the district.

According to the Wilmer Police Department, dispatch received a call from Ferris Police, saying a wrong-way driver headed northbound in the southbound lanes of I-45 had struck two vehicles.

While Wilmer police were on the way to the area, dispatch said the vehicle had a head-on collision in the southbound lanes. Officers found that a woman and two juveniles were in the vehicle that was going the wrong way and a man and two juveniles were in the vehicle that was struck head-on.

All three in the wrong-way vehicle were dead at the scene. In the other vehicle, the driver was pronounced dead at the scene and two juveniles were taken to the hospital with non-critical injuries.

Wilmer police are investigating if alcohol was a factor in the crash.

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