A Kent elementary school will begin the school year without a star teacher. Fifth grade teacher Stacy Ankerfelt died Monday, a month after she was hit by a car as she stood in her own driveway.
"We have a big cracked foundation ... just because she was so special to us,” said Dani Pfeiffer, Scenic Hill Elementary principal. "She went above and beyond."
Pfeiffer says Ankerfelt spent her summer vacation prepping for the first day of school.
On July 19, Ankerfelt went out the front door of her Auburn home, headed out to buy school supplies.
She waved hello to her neighbor, Dan Hodson, who then heard a crash and saw Ankerfelt lying in the street.
"Never had anything effect me like this,” said Hodson.
Police say the driver was under the influence of prescription drugs.
Ankerfelt had multiple skull fractures, a cerebral hemorrhage, and broken bones. She never regained consciousness, and on Monday she died
"I just wish I could have done more ... what could I do?" said Hodson.
The community had raised thousands of dollars for Ankerfelt’s care.
“Says something about her spirit,” said Pfeiffer.
The school says it will have difficulty replacing her, and explaining to her students about life - and the loss of it.
"She had a heart as large as life for kids...and we're going to miss her terribly,” said Pfeiffer.
The school says it will hand out a quarterly Stacy Ankerfelt award to students who, like her, display courage and kindness.
The King County Prosecutor's Office says it will now likely charge the man accused of hitting her, Samuel Cruz, with vehicular homicide in the coming days.