The community continues to rally around a Collins Lane Elementary teacher and her two children after a tragic motor vehicle accident claimed the life of her husband on Sunday.
A fundraiser for the family of Adam Hyatt, who taught social studies at Franklin County High School for the past 10 years, was started on Facebook Tuesday morning with the hope of helping the family cover expenses.
“These funds will be used in the upcoming months to cover all unexpected costs due to this tragedy,” the post on the fundraiser states. “(Donations) will also be used for his wife and two children left behind.”
The goal of the campaign is to raise $20,000 for Kari Hyatt and the couple’s two children. By 10 p.m. Tuesday donors had contributed close to $10,000 in just a few short hours, and it continues to grow.
“Adam was truly one of the ‘good guys,’” Laurel Dailey told The State Journal after making a donation to the family. “He was always happy to lend an ear, offer prayer or give of himself.”
A memorial fund for the family has also been set up at Traditional Bank. Checks can be made payable to the Hyatt Memorial Fund and are accepted at the bank on Versailles Road. Those wishing to send donations via mail may do so at McNamara and Jones c/o Hyatt Memorial Fund, 315 High St. Frankfort, KY 40601.
Hyatt, 38, was stopped in heavy traffic on Interstate 75 northbound in Whitley County shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday when he was rear-ended by a 2018 Dodge pickup truck driven by Robert Sturtz, 50, of Churubusco, Indiana, Kentucky State Police reported.
Hyatt’s car was pushed into the rear of a 2012 Dodge pickup truck operated by Stephen Riggs, 47, of Upton, who was uninjured in the accident. Sturtz was transported to Baptist Health Corbin, where he was treated for minor injuries and released. Hyatt was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
According to KSP’s preliminary investigation, all northbound lanes of I-75 were slowed or stopped at the time of the collision. The roadway was closed for several hours following the crash as first responders worked to clear the scene. So far no charges have been filed in the three-car wreck.
When news of Hyatt’s death reached Frankfort, many of those he touched took to social media to remember the well-liked teacher, including Franklin Circuit Court Clerk Amy Feldman.
“(He was) an all-around great man and he will be truly missed by this community,” she said, extending prayers to his friends and family. “Both of my boys have been impacted by him.”
Hyatt affected the lives of many students throughout his career. In fact, around 100 showed up on short notice over summer break for a candlelight vigil in his memory around the FCHS flagpole Monday night. They shared stories about the beloved teacher and wrote notes and their favorite memories of Hyatt in a book.
“We want to make this something we can (do) to love on the Hyatt family,” Barrett Sanderson wrote in a Facebook post about the book of memories that current and former students are compiling for the family.
For those who haven't signed the book, it will be available from 5-8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Elkhorn Middle School library. Sanderson also said he is willing to write messages sent to him for those who can't show up in person.
Funeral services are planned for 10 a.m. Saturday at Buck Run Baptist Church with burial to follow at Sunset Memorial Garden. Visitation is from 2-8 p.m. Friday.
“In a society that has become more and more focused on instant gratification and the idea that individual happiness is paramount, he was a constant reminder that we can and should still put others before ourselves,” Dailey added.