LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Kentucky lawmaker and teacher who suffered a blow to the head while trying to break up a school fight, has died. People around the Commonwealth remembered State Representative DeWayne Bunch on Wednesday.
From Governor Steve Beshear to Senator Mitch McConnell ---kind words and prayers went out to the family of Bunch.
Although the Republican from Whitley County was only in Frankfort for a short time, he quickly made friends across the state and across the aisle.
"He loved children, he loved to teach and he took great pride in that," recalled Minority Caucus Chair Bob DeWeese.
In April of 2011, Bunch, 50, a math teacher of 17 years, went in early to Whitley County High to help serve breakfast. However, a brawl between two boys left Bunch unconscious after he tried to stop it. He was knocked to the cafeteria floor and never recovered.
"It was a shock," DeWeese said of Bunch's passing.
He said what happened to Bunch was truly heartbreaking, considering he was a man who went to Frankfort to fight for education. "He died you know, doing what he loved to do by helping youth and children," said DeWeese.
Bunch's Republican colleague in the House, Julie Raque Adams, agreed. "I don't think if he could go back, he would have done anything differently and I don't think he would have let the fight continue," she said. "He would have tried to break it up because that's just the kind of man he was."
Adams learned the ropes in Frankfort with Bunch when the two came in together as freshman lawmakers.
"You really get to know a person during that time because we were relying on each other so much," Adams said. "He was just a good guy and a good man and a good husband and just a really great public servant."
DeWeese said he is just sorry for anyone who did not get to know Bunch. He said that the retired military officer was smart, funny, and dedicated. "The whole state of Kentucky has lost a wonderful friend and leader and he was honest, straight forward, and he was eager to learn."
Bunch's wife, Regina, took his seat in Frankfort and worked for brain injury legislation in the most recent General Assembly. House Resolution 225 passed unanimously.
"She is an amazing woman and she's smart, dedicated and she just loved her husband and so, my heart just breaks for her right now," said Adams.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo that Bunch showed tremendous potential as a lawmaker and that his wife has done an outstanding job serving the remainder of his term.
The two boys in the fight were charged with assault. There is no word on whether the charges may be upgraded now that Bunch has died.
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