Parents remember elementary school teacher killed in bicycle crash

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A community is mourning the loss of a kindergarten teacher, who was hit and killed by a truck while riding a bicycle.

It happened Wednesday morning on State Road 37 in Greenwood.

The Marion County Coroner’s Office identified the bicyclist as 38-year-old Erika Wells. She taught 15 years and many of those years were spent at Rhoades Elementary School in Wayne Township.

Parents said she had a lasting impact on their children and they can’t believe she’s gone.

Someone left a red balloon and flowers outside of the elementary school Thursday evening as tribute to Wells.

“Any parent you kind of think who am I leaving my child with but there was no worries at all I mean she was just a great person,” said Justina Pena, Wayne Township parent.

Parents described Wells as a dedicated teacher. They said she cared about her kids inside and outside of the classroom. Justina Pena said her son had Wells two years ago.

“I showed him the picture and he said yes that was my kindergarten teacher Miss Wells and I said well she actually had an accident and passed away and he cried,” she said.

The superintendent notified parents through automated phone calls and emails. Other parents, like Jamie Arnes said her daughter is heartbroken.

“She got very upset she was very close with Miss Wells she admired Miss Wells she still talked about some of the lessons and things that they did in class when she was her student,” said Arnes.

Arnes said Wells had a smile she will never forget. She would often to see her when she would walk her daughters to school.

“I still walk them every day and Miss Wells was always standing there you know with a big smile on her face,” said Arnes. “She was just a very warming person.”

The loss comes at a time while students are still on fall break. Arnes said the “We Are Wayne” community lost a teacher with a big heart and beautiful soul.

“What saddens me the most is that the students here on they won’t get the chance to be taught by her,” said Arnes. “She brought a very special beam to Rhoades Elementary.”

Outside of the classroom, Miss Wells was also active within the running and cycling community. She was part of Indy Runners and completed many marathons and triathlons.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Oct. 16 at Shiloh Wesley Chapel in Spencer. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. at Mount Pleasant Christian Church of Greenwood on Nov. 12.