RALEIGH, N.C. — A Holly Ridge Middle School teacher died Wednesday morning when his vehicle overturned on Interstate 40 in Raleigh, police said.
The single-vehicle accident occurred shortly before 7 a.m. at the westbound I-40 off-ramp onto Gorman Street, police said. The sport utility vehicle was traveling too fast when it went out of control and overturned, police said.
Michael Wendell Ruebin Jr., 37, of 3220 Calumet Drive in Raleigh, was taken to WakeMed, where he later died.
Ruebin was an eighth-grade science teacher and had taught at Holly Ridge Middle for one year. Faculty described him as someone who loved his job and loved his students. He taught about 100 children.
"I don't believe Mike was married, and he didn't have any children," said Holly Ridge social studies teacher Cedric Buck. "These were his kids. … He treated them as such. He loved those kids — he really did."
“I just know that he loved us all and that he wants us to live a good life,” said student Ashlyn Mitchell.
Grief counselors were at the school Wednesday and were expected to be there Thursday to help students and faculty cope with Reubin's death.
“No one wanted to go back into his room after they found out that he died,” Mitchell said. “They were all sitting in the hallway.”
"Within a year, you build a great relationship — you're spending an hour a day with those students," Principal Kenneth Proulx said. "You're not just teaching them science, but you're getting to know them as people."