Two young Philadelphia schoolteachers, married less than three months, died Sunday in an auto accident in Asheville, N.C.
William Reid, 26, and Jamie Soukup Reid, 25, had come to Philadelphia through Teach for America and met in the urban education master's program at the University of Pennsylvania.
"Will" Reid, who grew up in Phillipsburg, N.J., was a math teacher at the People for People charter school on North Broad Street. His wife, who grew up in Sammamish, Wash., taught writing and literature to seventh graders at the Harrity Elementary charter school in West Philadelphia.
"Will loved the charter school model. He felt like it gave him a lot of freedom," said his mother, Anne, treasurer of Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa. He had previously taught at Lincoln High School in Northeast Philadelphia.
Jamie Soukup Reid had been laid off by the Philadelphia School District after her first year of teaching, at Grover Cleveland Elementary in North Philadelphia, but stayed in the city to teach at Harrity, said her father, Ron Soukup, a retired engineer for Microsoft Corp.
She was set to begin her fourth year of teaching this month.
"She was fantastic with the written word," Soukup said.
The couple, married May 26 at the College of Physicians, lived in the 600 block of North Broad Street, just blocks from his school.
They had flown to Asheville to attend the wedding Saturday of a college friend of William Reid's. On Sunday morning, traveling back to the airport, the two teachers were killed when their hired car's driver, Rodney Koon, 45, of Asheville, apparently lost control of the vehicle, which struck a tree.
Koon, who remains hospitalized, could face charges. In search warrant applications filed Tuesday, police investigators said Koon's "actions directly contributed to the collision," according to the Asheville Citizen-Times.
Jamie Reid died instantly, her father said, but Will Reid was conscious when paramedics arrived and he told them to aid his wife because she was pregnant.
"She had the ultrasound pictures in her purse," Soukup said Tuesday. "We lost our two kids and our first grandchild."
"We loved Will like he was our son," said Soukup. "He was a wonderful guy."
"They both loved to travel and were both skiers," said Anne Reid. "They were very active, and it's been wonderful to see how many friends they had."
In addition to his mother, William Reid is survived by his father, James; a brother; and a sister.
In addition to her father, Jamie Reid is survived by her mother, Kay, and a sister.
Funeral services for the couple will be at noon Saturday at Doyle-Devlin Funeral Home, 695 Corliss Ave., Phillipsburg. Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. A service will also be held Aug. 25 in Sammamish.
Donations may be made to William and Jamie Reid Scholarship Fund, Phillipsburg High School, 200 Hillcrest Blvd., Phillipsburg, N.J. 08865, with checks payable to Phillipsburg High School.