Students, parents mourn after special education teacher dies in Farmers Branch wreck

A tight-knit community of parents and students in Ellis County is devastated after a beloved teacher died in a car crash.

The wrong-way crash happened over the weekend in Farmers Branch and police still aren’t saying who caused the crash. Police say one of the vehicles caught fire.

Rachel Re’Lynne Wilson, 37, was a teacher and mother of three. She was killed around 1:30 a.m. Saturday on LBJ Freeway near Luna Road in Farmers Branch. The other driver Jose Ortiz, 41, also did not survive.

Ann Cheek, 18, learned a lot from the special education teacher at Red Oak High School.

“My daughter had a rough freshman year, she did not enjoy going to school and when Re’Lynne came to be their teacher, it was just an amazing transformation,” said parent Laura Cheek.

Cheek and Kelly Ratterree — whose son Jordan was also Wilson’s student — say Wilson’s loss hits especially hard in the small class of special needs students…kids who may require a lot of patience, understanding and diligence.

Wilson worked with the district in special education for three years. Anna and Jordan were in her class the entire time and Wilson bonded with students and their parents.

“It takes a lot to love other children in the same capacity that you love your own and we all felt that from Re’Lynne,” said Ratterree. “When you find that and as a parent when you have that ease, and that comfort and that security, it’s a huge loss.”

Police say they’re still investigating….and won’t say who was the wrong way driver … before the investigation is complete.

“For Mr. Ortiz’s family we are praying for you and we know your loss is just as big as her family’s is,” said Ratterree.

“Prayers for both families. That’s how we’ll make it through this,” Cheek said.

RELATED: 2 dead in wrong-way crash in Farmers Branch