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Published: Tuesday, 1/17/2012

Washington Schools teacher dies in accident

BLADE STAFF

A Washington Local Schools elementary teacher was killed in a weekend snowmobile accident on a trail in northern Michigan’s Cheboygan County, authorities said.

Candy Budd-Crowley, 42, of Pickard Drive in Toledo, was pronounced dead at the scene about 10:30 p.m. Saturday after the snowmobile she was operating swerved off the trail — possibly to avoid a deer — and struck a tree, according to Michigan State Police.

Mrs. Budd-Crowley was following snowmobiles driven by husband, Aaron Crowley, 35, and another rider, troopers at the Gaylord post said, adding that deer tracks at the scene suggest she might have left the trail to miss a deer.

A 1987 Whitmer High School graduate, she had been a teacher with the district since 1996. She was currently a physical education teacher at Monac Elementary and Jackman Elementary and was the district’s seventh-grade girls basketball coach.

Washington Local Superintendent Patrick Hickey said she was an outstanding teacher who was devoted to students and their physical health, and cared about their successes in the classroom and in life.

“She touched a lot of lives,” Mr. Hickey said. “Candy was just a wonderful person. This will be a tremendous loss for our district. She was a real role model to students in terms of living life to its fullest and she took education to another level. She was a big part of our kids’ lives.”

The Toledo school district will have counselors available to talk to students at the school when classes resume Wednesday.

“We want to help our kids and our staff as much as we can through this extremely painful time,” Mr. Hickey said.

In addition to her husband, she leaves behind four step-children.

A memorial is tentatively scheduled for Saturday at Whitmer High School, Mr. Hickey said.



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