Lone Star Elementary School teacher killed in head-on collision

MONTGOMERY, Texas – Students, parents and faculty members of Montgomery ISD are remembering a beloved fourth-grade teacher who was killed in a car crash this week.

Lone Star Elementary School teacher, Jennifer Runnels died Wednesday after a head-on collision near FM 2854 and Honea Egypt, officials said.  She would have turned 41 years old on Saturday.

DPS officials said Runnels and her 10-year-old daughter were driving along FM 2854 Wednesday afternoon, when a driver swerved into oncoming traffic, hitting their SUV head on. 

Runnels died a short time later at the hospital.  Her daughter is in critical condition. The driver of the car has been identified as 31-year-old Floyd Nelms Jr. He died at the scene.  It is unknown what caused Nelms to swerve into oncoming traffic.

Runnels had been with Montgomery County ISD for the past three years. 

“I talked to her every morning whenever I went to go say hi to my teacher and she was very kind,” said Jetta Marling, a 10-year-old who attended Lone Star Elementary School last year.

She said the best part about Mrs. Runnels were her hugs.  “She didn’t deserve this at all and I know she’s up in heaven now,” Marling said.

MISD sent a statement to parents and staff Wednesday.

"This evening a heartbreaking tragedy struck our Lone Star family when Mrs. Runnels, a fourth grade teacher, failed to survive a car accident.

"We will have additional counselors and administrators on hand throughout the week for our boys and girls. However, news of this nature may need to be broken by parents."

Superintendent, Dr. Beau Rees said campus counselors and administrators have been providing support to students and staff Thursday.

"Thank you for everything you do to make MISD a great place for kids to learn and educators to work.  Please keep both families (Runnels and LSE) in your thoughts and prayers this week and in the coming months as we grapple with this tragic loss," Rees said.

The school is planning to hold a balloon release in Mrs. Runnels’ honor on Friday morning at 9 a.m.