Blount Co. high school teacher killed in crash

Blount Co. high school teacher killed in crash

Posted: Updated:
Mike Roberts (Source: Blount County Schools) Mike Roberts (Source: Blount County Schools)
"The biggest personality that you could ever imagine and not only was he fun to watch with as an associate but to see his love of kids," said coworker and friend Nancy Kemp. "The biggest personality that you could ever imagine and not only was he fun to watch with as an associate but to see his love of kids," said coworker and friend Nancy Kemp.
Roberts taught automotive technology at Heritage High School. He was about to start is seventh year at the school. Roberts taught automotive technology at Heritage High School. He was about to start is seventh year at the school.
"Mr. Roberts is a very dedicated individual, dedicated to his profession, dedicated to his family, dedicated to the students of Blount County," said coworker Gary Farmer. "Mr. Roberts is a very dedicated individual, dedicated to his profession, dedicated to his family, dedicated to the students of Blount County," said coworker Gary Farmer.
Blount County Sheriff James Berrong says James M. Roberts 48, was pronounced dead at Blount Memorial Hospital. Blount County Sheriff James Berrong says James M. Roberts 48, was pronounced dead at Blount Memorial Hospital.

By ALEXIS ZOTOS
6 News Reporter

TOWNSEND (WATE) - A Townsend high school teacher was killed in a car crash Sunday night.

Blount County Sheriff James Berrong says James M. Roberts 48, was pronounced dead at Blount Memorial Hospital.

Roberts taught automotive technology at Heritage High School. He was about to start is seventh year at the school.

Roberts' wife Connie is also a teacher at Heritage.

Officials say Roberts was traveling north on Webb Road in a 2006 Chevrolet pickup truck just before 8:00 p.m.

Roberts ran off the right side of the roadway, came back onto the road, then went into the oncoming lane. He then overcorrected and went back off the right side of the road, hitting an embankment.

The vehicle then hit a tree and uprooted it, causing the truck to roll onto its top.

Officials say Roberts was partially ejected and was not wearing a seatbelt.

A team of counselors, area ministers, and sheriff's department chaplains were at the high school Monday for students and teachers. They'll be at the high school all week.

"Primarily today they are there to listen, to allow the student to tell their story, to explore the relationship between the student of teacher with the teacher, and talk about their loss," said Jane Morton, an instructional supervisor.

Coworkers and friends described Roberts as someone everyone loved to be around. "The biggest personality that you could ever imagine and not only was he fun to watch with as an associate but to see his love of kids," said coworker and friend Nancy Kemp.

Best known as "Thunder," he was a favorite among students and staff. "Mr. Roberts is a very dedicated individual, dedicated to his profession, dedicated to his family, dedicated to the students of Blount County," said coworker Gary Farmer.

The news spread quickly of last night's crash and was especially hard as students made their way to Heritage for the first day of class. Kemp said, "it's such a close-knit family. I think we're all still in great shock."

The crash is under investigation.

Family will receive friends from 5 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Smith Trinity Chapel. The funeral service will immediately follow.

The internment is Thursday at 10 a.m. at Caylor's Chapel Church Cemetery.

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