Teacher killed in wreck on Monday morning

Published 2:44 pm Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Tallahassee woman who taught at West Bainbridge Elementary died Monday morning after her car crashed on U.S. 27 South, according to the Georgia State Patrol.

Nancy Barineau, 56, of Tallahassee, Fla., died at Memorial Hospital after being taken there by Emergency Medical Service ambulance. She taught first grade at West Bainbridge Elementary.

The wreck happened at 7:10 a.m. at the intersection of U.S. 27 South and Georgia 262 South, a little more than a mile north of the Georgia-Florida border.

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According to State Trooper Brian Palmer, Barineau was traveling north in her 2002 Toyota Camry when, for an unknown reason, her car went off the highway’s eastern shoulder into a ditch. The car traveled about 1,000 feet and struck a concrete culvert at the intersection of U.S. 27 and Georgia 262, Palmer said.

“I can’t tell you what happened that caused her to run off the road,” Palmer said. “It doesn’t appear that she attempted to turn back onto the highway.”

According to Palmer, Barineau was wearing her seat belt and her car’s airbag system deployed.

An off-duty Gadsden County, Fla., Sheriff’s deputy, Thomas Henry, and his sister, off-duty nurse Deborah Whiddon, saw the accident and pulled over to assist Ms. Barineau, who was trapped in her car, Palmer said.

First responders from the Climax and Attapulgus volunteer fire departments also arrived to help and Decatur County Sheriff’s Deputy Brett Trammell started CPR before EMS arrived, Palmer said.

Memorial established

Barineau’s principal at West Bainbridge Elementary School, Allyson G. Matthews, said Tuesday Barineau’s character was what set her apart.

Matthews said Barineau was gentle, calm and good-hearted.

On Tuesday, the school established the Nancy Barineau Wildcat Character Memorial.

“What a tribute to her … she was a great person,” Matthews said.

Contributions may be sent to the school in care of the Nancy Barineau Wildcat Character Memorial, West Bainbridge Elementary School, 915 Zorn Road, Bainbridge, GA 39817.

Decatur County School Superintendent Fred Rayfield issued a statement Monday.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Ms. Barineau as they continue to deal with this tragic loss. We will continue to lift her family, West Bainbridge Elementary faculty, staff and students, and the Decatur County School family up in our prayers as they deal with the days ahead.”

Matthews said Ms. Barineau’s students from last year, second-graders now, taking it the hardest, and the staff and faculty was also grieving. Grief counselors—for both the students and the staff and faculty—have been at the school since the death of Ms. Barineau was announced Monday morning.

“This is a close-knit faculty,” Matthews said. “Reality has really hit the faculty at this point.” She also said there has been an outpouring of community and parental support, as well as fellow educators throughout the Decatur County School system.

Ms. Barineau taught at in the county for nine years, and prior to that she taught for 14 years in Quincy, Fla., where she was named the 2001 Teacher of the Year for George W. Monroe Elementary School, and was the 2000 Superintendent Award winner for high test scores, Matthews said.

Visitation is scheduled for today, Wednesday, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Charles McClellan Funeral Home, 15 S. Jackson St., Quincy, FL, 32351. Graveside services, which Matthews said student, faculty and staff wishing to attend will be excused from school, are scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. at Hillcrest Cemetery in Quincy.