SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – An Upstate theater teacher died in a crash Wednesday morning in Spartanburg County.
The two-vehicle crash happened at the intersection of U.S. 221 and Moore Duncan Highway (Highway 290) just after 7 a.m.
The Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office said the driver of one vehicle, 47-year-old Betty Bohmer of Woodruff, died in the crash.
Troopers said Bohmer was traveling north on U.S. 221 and attempted to turn left onto SC 290 when she was hit on the passenger side of her vehicle by a truck.
Bohmer was a theater teacher at Duncan Elementary School of the Arts, according to Spartanburg District Five.
“It is with deep sadness and regret that I’m writing to let you know about the loss of a beloved member of our Duncan family earlier today,” Duncan Elementary Principal Marc Zachary wrote in a note sent to parents and families. “The entire Duncan and District Five family is sending its deepest condolences to the family and friends of this beloved educator. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days.”
Bohmer worked at schools in District Five for 23 years, including the last two at Duncan Elementary.
“I was really in disbelief, because I was like no, it’s not Betty. She’s just one of the best people I know, not that it can’t happen to anyone, but it’s just like, not my friend,” said Kristi Mathis.
Kristi Mathis taught alongside Bohmer for many years.
“We worked together for 12 years, and we just kept in touch over the 20 years that I’ve known her,” she said.
Those who knew her said she was a teacher who impacted many students.
“I know a lot of her students went into theatre because of her, they always came back, you would always see people, oh, Mrs. Bohmer, I’m just so glad to see you,” said Mathis.
“I had her for 7th, 8th, and 9th grade.” BUTT WITH “She’s a huge reason I still do theatre and made me fall in love with every part of it and always made class fun,” said Chris Straitiff.
Former student, Chris Straitiff, said Bohmer wanted every kid to reach their full potential.
“Mrs. Bohmer never gave up on her students. If she thought you could do something, she would push you until you accomplished it,” he said.
Bohmer is described as someone who always had a smile on her face.
“Bubbly, full of life, she loved her job as theatre teacher, she loved the kids that she taught,” said Mathis. “Will be dearly missed, for her love for others, for animals, for her school, for her family.”
“Mrs. Bohmer is the kindest teacher there is. She first started teaching me when I entered D.R. Hill Middle school in the 7th grade, she continuing teaching through my 9th grade year during Covid. And during my 10th grade year when my theater teacher had to leave midway through the school year, Mrs. Bohmer stepped in and she took over our class, volunteering her time during and after school. Mrs. Bohmer helped me find myself through theater. Thanks to Mrs. Bohmer, I’m continuing my education at a performing arts college. Mrs. Bohmer loved all of her students like her own children, and all students who took her class, or even passed her in the halls, will miss her and her contagious smile so much.Former student who wished to be anonymous.
The school will have additional counselors on campus for the rest of the week.
“She was an incredibly bright light in the world and a safe place for so many kids (and overwhelmed/lost in a big school parents like myself). Her heart will definitely live on in so many students and families. She was a once in a lifetime educator to come across for all students and parents.Krystle Bryson, who is a parent of one of Mrs. Bohmer’s former students.
South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
Details are limited. We will update this story as more information becomes available.