BREAKING NEWS Off-duty Boswell Town Marshal dies in single-vehicle crash Full Story
SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

Clinton County mourns the loss of Rossville teacher Brian Thomas

Chemistry teacher Brian Thomas died in a car accident early Friday morning. To many of the people he interacted with, he was more than his job title.

Posted: Nov 4, 2019 10:06 PM
Updated: Nov 4, 2019 11:11 PM

ROSSVILLE, Ind. (WLF) - Rossville Consolidated Schools is mourning the loss of one of it's own. Chemistry teacher Brian Thomas died in a car accident early Friday morning. Thomas started at Rossville Middle-High School in 2014. He previously taught at Lewis Cass High School.

To many of the people he interacted with, he was more than his job title.

"He was just a very caring teacher," said fellow teacher Mike Priest.

"He was a mentor," said Principal Terry Thompson.

"He was more than just a teacher, he was one of my best friends," said Sophomore Madison Newbauer, who was one of his students.

The halls of Rossville Middle-High School were full of blue on Monday. This was in honor of Mr. Thomas' favorite color and favorite sports team, the Indianapolis Colts. It was a shock to everyone when the news came that he was gone.

"We were notified about 7:15 Friday morning of Mr. Thomas' passing from an accident that had happened the previous evening," said Principal Thompson. He said after they told the staff, they broke the news to the students. Grief counselors, some from other schools in Clinton County, and local religious leaders were brought in to help students and staff deal with the tragedy.

"Initially it was just kind of shocking that it happened to a teacher and especially someone that I thought of as a friend and a colleague," said Evan Price, another of Mr. Thomas' students. Price said he had known Mr. Thomas since he was in seventh grade and had had him for three years as a science teacher.

"The staff is down in the dumps, you just can't get over that," said Priest. "We just chaperoned the freshman community service project on Thursday and the next day he was gone."

But what made him so special?

"Mr. Thomas was the quintessential chemistry teacher," said Principal Thompson.  "What I mean by that is he was not only a good teacher but he really understood kids and what they were going through."

"He was always there, he always cheered everyone up," said Newbauer.

"He would go in and play E-sports in that room with those students," said Superintendent Jim Hanna. "He would come in and pound out a song on the piano for the students."

This loss hits close to home for Dr. Hanna. He said Mr. Thomas was instrumental in helping his son get a good start in AP Chemistry.

"He went beyond the job of making sure you were doing ok in the class," said Price. "He would even come in and help you early in the morning before class if you needed it."

The whole county had a chance to mourn the loss at the first Clinton County Power Puff Volleyball Tournament Monday night. Rossville, Clinton Central, Clinton Prairie and Frankfort all competed.

"All proceeds are going to the charity of the school's choosing and another 20% is going to go to the Brian Thomas family," said Senior Jayden Brown, who organized the tournament.

It began with a moment of silence for Mr. Thomas. A banner hung from the sideline that was from the Delphi Community School Corporation offering condolences. People in the crowd from the rival schools put aside any differences and wore blue in honor of Mr. Thomas.

"I don't think there is any other county that gathers around a tragedy like Clinton County," said Brown. He said Rossville's charity money raised at the tournament will go to Back Pack Buddy to fight food insecurity. He said Rossville is in a food desert, which means that people in an area that have difficulty finding affordable and good-quality fresh food.

Mr. Thomas' visitation and funeral are both happening on Wednesday November 6th at the Fisher Funeral Chapel in Logansport. The visitation is from 3-7 p.m. the service starts at 7 p.m. Click here to share your condolences with the family. Dr. Hanna said they have a well-known substitute teacher filling in for Mr. Thomas' class. They hope to get a recently retired biology teacher approved to come back and fill in for the class until they find a permenant replacement.

Lafayette
Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 59°
Kokomo
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 58°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 50°
Lafayette
Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 59°
Danville
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 55°
Frankfort
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 57°
Frankfort
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 57°
Monticello
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 56°
Monticello
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 56°
Logansport
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 55°
March coming in like a lamb Monday...
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

WLFI is promoting fire safety with FREE smoke detectors

 WLFI and several local fire departments are helping with your fire safety this winter. CLICK HERE. 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 660942

Reported Deaths: 12556
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion905601638
Lake48352874
Allen35762635
Hamilton32026396
St. Joseph29865511
Elkhart25350414
Vanderburgh21225377
Tippecanoe19977200
Johnson16319356
Porter15938269
Hendricks15801300
Clark11928180
Madison11730316
Vigo11578229
Monroe10312161
Delaware9830179
LaPorte9755196
Howard9047196
Kosciusko8549109
Bartholomew7440147
Warrick7403150
Hancock7394130
Floyd7189169
Wayne6630191
Grant6422157
Morgan6075125
Boone607288
Dubois5895111
Dearborn546866
Cass543399
Henry541793
Marshall5417104
Noble508578
Jackson464366
Shelby460190
Lawrence4179111
Gibson400881
Harrison398763
Clinton395053
Montgomery386283
DeKalb384678
Miami356763
Knox356485
Whitley348936
Huntington342376
Steuben337855
Wabash330876
Putnam329459
Ripley326861
Adams322549
Jasper315443
White297252
Jefferson294473
Daviess285396
Fayette271456
Decatur270488
Greene261280
Posey260531
Wells257674
Scott249950
Clay240844
LaGrange240770
Randolph225576
Spencer217030
Jennings214744
Washington210427
Sullivan203139
Fountain201142
Starke187951
Owen181953
Fulton178237
Jay177628
Carroll176418
Perry173235
Orange171150
Rush164322
Vermillion160242
Franklin159335
Tipton146141
Parke138815
Pike127432
Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
Brown94939
Benton91813
Crawford90313
Martin80014
Warren75513
Switzerland7537
Union67110
Ohio53211
Unassigned0431

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events