MIDDLEBURG, Fla. - The death of a beloved Middleburg teacher who was killed in a car crash has the Middleburg community stunned.
Melanie Blodgett and her husband, Les Blodgett, were returning from Disney World Saturday when another driver turned in front of them on International Golf Parkway and their cars collided. Melanie died from her injuries and her husband remains in the hospital.
A Florida Highway Patrol officer was back at the scene of the crash Tuesday checking the traffic lights to make sure they had worked properly during the fatal crash.
Many students and teachers in Middleburg said the crash that killed Melanie, whom they called a wonderful teacher and a second mother to many, has left them brokenhearted.
"The kids miss her and they are not sure of which way to go," said Sarah Baker, who worked with Melanie.
Melanie volunteered as a Pre-K teacher at the school and trained high school students to become daycare specialists. Her impact is undeniable.
"Tremendous, and it wasn't just the little VPK kids," Baker said. "It was also the teenagers and the adults that she worked with. She treated us like family. We were her family.
Melanie would take her students to a playground every day, and after school, she was still like a mother to them.
"She was a mom to all of us," Assistant Principal Stephanie Palmer said.
"My kids would refer to her as school mom," Baker said.
The "extended" family is holding on to the many memories of Melanie Blodgett's positivity, love for helping kids and everything Disney. While in mourning, Baker is wearing Disney stockings for Melanie. She said it would have made her smile.
Melanie's legacy is already being felt.
Palmer said she wishes everyone could have felt the kindness of Melanie's amazing personality before her tragic and unexpected death.
"I'm sorry they didn't have the opportunity to meet her because her impact on us will never be forgotten," Palmer said.
Melanie's husband, Les, remains in the hospital, and the extended family of students, teachers and parents said they hope for a quick recovery.
Middleburg High School has counselors on campus to help students and staff. The family has created a GoFundMe account to help cover her funeral costs.
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