Students, teachers, and staff with the Bettendorf School District are remembering one of their own.
On Wednesday, March 26th, 2014, Davenport Police said 18-year-old Natalie Munoz was the person who died in a crash on River Drive on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014.
Investigators say Munoz was driving towards downtown, Davenport when her vehicle swerved over the center line and collided with two oncoming cars.
Grief counselors were on hand at Bettendorf High School on Tuesday, March 25th and Wednesday, March 26th to help students and staff cope.
Principal Jimmy Casas told News 8 Munoz was “just a really nice young lady” and “very caring, very sweet young girl.”
Casas says Munoz had just graduated on Monday, March 24th, 2014 so she could attend classes at Scott Community College.
“It was really important to her,” he says. “It was really important to her family that she complete here and get started into college.”
To reach that goal, Casas says she worked very closely with teachers and as a result, teachers knew Munoz very well.
“We had some staff here who invested a lot of time in her to help her be successful. But, it’s interesting, because what you always forget – or sometimes we forget – is that she also had an impact on our teachers. And so that’s what’s always really difficult for our staff any time you lose a student, because there’s just a lot of investment both ways and that relationship piece is just really important to us,” Casas said.
Since Munoz graduated, Casas says Munoz’ family will receive a high school diploma on her behalf.
Meanwhile, students at Bettendorf High School were remembering Munoz in a different way. They decorated her locker with messages like “Gone, But Not Forgotten” and “We Love You!”
“There’s just that emotion,” said Casas. “Those emotions, and having to deal with those; but at the same time I think we’re very fortunate, because we have staff that’s very caring. We have a great support staff, we have a great counseling staff who are going to work with the kids, and I always like to think it also brings the community together. So, it’s always ironic that in a tragic loss something really positive will come out of it.”
Visitation and funeral arrangements were pending. WQAD will post those as soon as they come available. Police say the cause of the accident remains under investigation.