HOUSTON - In Arlene Soto's classroom Tuesday, the place where the talented young teacher brought learning to life, the desks were empty and the classroom left deadly silent.
"Arlene had a tremendous impact on the kids at this school because she cared so much, especially for the kids who were struggling with their studies," Principal William Clark said.
Monday night around 6:30, Soto was killed in a four-car crash on the 59 near University. Soto's small passenger car was hit from behind by a large Ford F-250 pickup truck that slammed into her and pushed her into the car in front of her, pinning her inside a mass of twisted metal.
Police said she probably died on impact.
Tuesday at Step Charter School, where Arlene taught for the last two years, hundreds of students wrote messages and prayers to the beautiful teacher who everyone said made simple school lessons come alive.
"I would just say that she was the best thing that ever happened to me," said 9-year-old Allayna Vazquez.
Soto was a teacher who would stay after school, for hours sometimes, to help struggling students. She was to be married soon.
A candlelight vigil is planned for her Friday at 6 p.m. at the Step Charter School in Houston.
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