Teacher killed in car accident remembered by school family

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Submitted: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 4:59am
Updated: Wed, 11/16/2011 - 1:36pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– A New Hanover County school is mourning the loss of a longtime teacher. Linda Aiello, 62, died in a car accident last night.

Not far from Laney High School, debris litters the shoulder of North College Road, the only sign that a deadly car accident ever happened here. Killed in the wreck was a woman who was a mother, a grandmother and longtime school teacher.

“One of the very best ones that I know of in this school,” Wrighstsboro Elementary parent Matthew Woods said of Aiello. “I mean, she’s just… What can you say? It’s just, it’s a loss. It’s a loss to all the children, not only mine, but the ones that come after mine.”

Aiello spent 22 years teaching at Wrightsboro Elementary School. During her tenure she taught third, fourth and fight grade. Affectionately known as “Ms. A,” she had spent the last two years teaching third graders, students who may now need a little support.

“I was so upset, but I didn’t want to cry, because I didn’t want other people to see me crying, because other people didn’t know,” said Charlotte Woods, a former student of Aiello.

Many staff members did not know what happened until they got to work. That’s when they learned about the crash.

The accident happened just a few hundred feet from Northchase Parkway. The Highway Patrol says another driver crossed the center line and hit Aiello. The other driver, Michael Gillespie, was not seriously injured. But moments after that crash another driver came along and hit Aiello’s car. She later died at the hospital.

“Certainly this community is reeling with shock and grief right now,” New Hanover County Schools Assistant Superintendent Rick Holliday said.

That’s why counselors were at Wrightsboro Elementary Tuesday and will remain there as long as they are needed.

“She gave us candy when we did well. She told us funny stories about what happened in her life. She read us funny books,” Charlotte Woods said. “She was the best teacher you could ask for.”

According to Highway Patrol, Gillespie has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle. Troopers say they do not believe alcohol or drugs were involved.

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23 Comments on "Teacher killed in car accident remembered by school family"

2015 years 8 months ago

Mrs. A was the best teacher anyone could ask for. She was kind, giving and inspired everyone to dream as big as they could. She taught me in fifth grade almost a decade ago, but she still holds a special place in my heart. I love you Mrs. A!

2015 years 8 months ago

Mrs. Aiello was my son’s 5th grade teacher and my daughter’s 3rd grade teacher. She will be missed very much. I always loved to see her smiling face. She was a wonderful woman, teacher and friend. My prayers go out to her family. I know this must be a very hard time for them. I know that both of my kids have taken this very hard. They loved having her as their teacher.

Jason Solomon
2015 years 8 months ago

Ms. Aiello was one of my elementary teachers back in 1990. She definitely cared for each child’s individual needs. She used to bring me peanut butter crackers every morning. Getting Ms. Aiello for a teacher at Wrightsboro Elementary was like winning 1st round draft pick for teachers for the Elementary Draft (if it existed). She was caring, compassionate, fun, and a great create educator. She will be greatly missed.

Jennie McGoun
2015 years 8 months ago

You have touched the lives of so many including my own. Thank you for all you have done through your teaching for our community. You are truly an admirable woman who will never be forgotten. God bless.

2015 years 8 months ago

Mrs. Aiello was by far my favorite teacher. I had the pleasure of being her student when I was in the 5th grade. She had such an impact on my life and she inspired me to want to become a teacher myself.

I’ll never forget her hats, her collection of angels, and the amazing warmth and love she shared with her students. She will be greatly missed.

My thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends, co-workers, and her students.