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Ventura assistant principal struck, killed while jogging

An assistant principal at a Ventura County school was struck by a vehicle and killed while jogging.
April 7, 2014 10:29:51 AM PDT
An assistant principal at a Ventura County school was struck by a vehicle and killed while jogging on Sunday morning.

Authorities responded to the traffic collision on Victoria Avenue, south of Olivas Park Drive, at about 6:50 a.m. A 2011 Volkswagen was traveling southbound on Victoria Avenue when the driver, identified as Oxnard resident Shante Chappell, attempted to merge into the right lane but "made an unsafe turning movement," police said in a statement.

The vehicle struck Chris Prewitt, who was jogging in the right shoulder. He was declared dead at the scene.

Chappell, 23, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs. She was released after posting $50,000 bond. She is scheduled to make her first court appearance on Friday.

Prewitt was an assistant principal at DeAnza Academy of Technology and Arts for the last three years. All staff members were notified about the tragedy in a message from the Ventura Unified School District superintendent.

"For those of us who had the good fortune of knowing and working with Chris, his positive spirit will remain etched in our hearts forever," Superintendent Trudy Tuttle Arriaga said in the message to staff.

To those who knew the 38-year-old, Prewitt was more than an educator. He was a swim coach and a friend who would always brighten your day, whether he was dressed up as Harry Potter on Halloween or taking part in school activities.

"He cares about kids; he cares about their extended life not just at the school," said Kathy Asher, assistant superintendent of education services.

Counselors will be made available to all students and staff in the district, a school official said.


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