N.C. crash kills young couple, including Sammamish native

August 15, 2013

By Paul Nussbaum

With permission from The Philadelphia Inquirer

Two young Philadelphia schoolteachers who were married less than three months, one of them a Sammamish native, died Aug. 11 in an auto accident in Asheville, N.C. A joint funeral in Philadelphia is planned for Aug. 17.

Jamie Soukup Reid and Will Reid were married in May. The couple died in a car crash in North Carolina on Aug. 11.

Jamie Soukup Reid and Will Reid were married in May. The couple died in a car crash in North Carolina on Aug. 11.

William Reid, 26, and Jamie Soukup Reid, 25, went to Philadelphia through Teach for America and met in the urban education master’s program at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Will” Reid, who grew up in Phillipsburg, N.J., was a math teacher at the People for People charter school. Jamie Soukup Reid, who grew up in Sammamish, taught writing and literature to seventh-graders at the Harrity Elementary charter school. She was an intern at The Issaquah Press in 2007.

“Will loved the charter school model. He felt like it gave him a lot of freedom,” said his mother Anne, treasurer of Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa. He had previously taught at Lincoln High School in Northeast Philadelphia.

Jamie Soukup Reid had been laid off by the Philadelphia School District after her first year of teaching, at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in North Philadelphia, but stayed in the city to teach at Harrity, said her father, Ron Soukup, a retired engineer for Microsoft Corp., who lives in Sammamish. She was set to begin her fourth year of teaching this month.

“She was fantastic with the written word,” Soukup said. The couple married May 26. They had flown to Asheville to attend the wedding Saturday of a college friend of William Reid’s. On Sunday morning, traveling back to the airport, the two teachers were killed when their hired car’s driver, Rodney Koon, 45, of Asheville, apparently lost control of the vehicle, which struck a tree.

Koon, who remains hospitalized, could face charges. In search warrant applications filed Tuesday, police investigators said Koon’s “actions directly contributed to the collision,” according to the Asheville Citizen-Times. Jamie Reid died instantly, her father said, but Will Reid was conscious when paramedics arrived and he told them to aid his wife because she was pregnant.

“She had the ultrasound pictures in her purse,” Soukup said Aug. 13. “We lost our two kids and our first grandchild.

“We loved Will like he was our son,” Soukup said. “He was a wonderful guy.”

“They both loved to travel and were both skiers,” Anne Reid said. “They were very active, and it’s been wonderful to see how many friends they had.”

In addition to his mother, William Reid is survived by his father James, a brother and a sister. In addition to her father, Jamie Reid is survived by her mother Kay and a sister.

Funeral services for the couple were set for Aug. 17. A service will also be held Aug. 25 in Sammamish.

Donations may be made to the William and Jamie Reid Scholarship Fund, Phillipsburg High School, 200 Hillcrest Blvd., Phillipsburg, N.J. 08865, with checks payable to Phillipsburg High School.


Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or pnussbaum@phillynews.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.


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