CHESNEE, S.C. (WSPA) – A Spartanburg County School District 2 employee was arrested after being accused of drinking and driving.
Kelli Wall was charged this weekend with DUI, having an open container, and hit-and-run causing property damage.
According to a police report, officers responded to an incident on E. Main Street in Spartanburg, where Wall reportedly backed into a parked car and left the scene.
The owner of the parked car took a picture of her tag number and deputies pulled her over on Highway 29 towards Cowpens.
According to the report, an officer who spoke with Wall smelled an overwhelming odor of alcohol, noticed her speech was slurred, and reported she had trouble maintaining her balance and needed assistance walking.
Three empty beer bottles and three open beer bottles were found inside her car, the report says.
7News spoke with parents who worry their children may be affected by the arrest.
“When I first heard it, it was like a punch in the stomach and it kind of hurt me in the heart,” Susan Maynard said.
That’s how Maynard felt when she learned Kelli Wall was accused of drunk driving.
Wall was a Spartanburg School District 2 employee when she was arrested, but is no longer employed with the district.
Maynard told 7News that Wall was her son’s teacher at Chesnee Middle School and was also head coach of the girls’ tennis team at Chesnee High School.
“She’s interactive with the kids all the time–on a positive note–and she cares so deeply about them,” Maynard said. “She’s like a big sister or like a best friend more than she is a coach and a teacher.”
While Maynard was completely shocked to hear the news, others were less surprised.
“This doesn’t shock me any. But it does hurt,” David Pryor said. “It’s a common-day thing now.”
Wall was arrested Saturday night and charged with DUI, having an open container in the vehicle, and hit-and-run with property damage.
“I know that what she did was not a good thing. We all know that. But one ‘Oh boy’ shouldn’t kick to the curb all the ‘Atta boys’ that she did. Everybody makes mistakes and nobody’s perfect,” Maynard said. “She loves the kids. It is so hard to find somebody that truly, deeply, and genuinely loves these kids.”
And while some folks said the arrest is not acceptable, Maynard believes it’s forgivable.
“I’m telling you, if they lose that teacher, they’re losing something very, very irreplaceable,” she said. “She would never, ever, ever put any kids–hers or anybody else’s–in any danger whatsoever. We need to keep her around and give her another chance.”
The tennis team Wall reportedly coached competed in their second round of play-offs on Monday.