Jeff Gordon & Larry Sparks - 2

By Kendall Downing - Fox 59

CAMPBELL COUNTY, Tenn. (Oct. 27, 2014) – Two longtime employees for the North West Hendricks School Corporation were killed after an RV crash in Tennessee Monday morning.

Larry and Jackie Sparks died after their RV went off the road north near Jellico, Tenn. Their daughter, Debbie Dorrell, was injured. Larry was a bus driver and former principal and teacher at Tri-West High School. His wife was an instructional assistant and lunch monitor at Pittsboro Elementary, also a former teacher.

Their daughter Debbie is the wife of Don Dorrell, athletic director at Tri-West High School. She also teaches for the Western Boone school district.

North West Hendricks Superintendent Richard “Rusty” King confirmed the news with FOX59.

Anyone in Hendricks County will tell you the Sparks family is the glue that holds the North West Hendricks School Corporation together. Even after both Larry and Jackie retired from teaching, they both came back to work in other roles.

“It hit me in the gut. It took everything out of me for a while,” said King.

King said the news was tough to bear for him and his staff members.

“It was obvious that they were struggling with it,” he said.

Larry and Jackie Sparks served students and never stopped. Jackie taught at Pittsboro Elementary for more than twenty years and retired in 2000, but the district said she later returned as an instructional assistant.

Larry Sparks taught and later became a principal at Tri-West High School. He left administration and went back to the classroom to teach. He retired in 1999, but he came back to drive a bus for the district.

“It hurts knowing that I won’t see him in the mornings, won’t pass by him you know,” said Robin Woodrum, who drove a bus with Larry Sparks.

“They still wanted to be with kids and not everybody wants to do that, not everybody after they retire wants to make that kind of commitment to students, and they did,” said King.

The two died in an RV crash on Monday morning on northbound Interstate 75 near Jellico, Tennessee, at mile marker 147. The Tennessee Highway Patrol told FOX59 Monday afternoon the RV ran down a hillside and hit some trees. The particular section of interstate is hilly and can be dangerous, according to officials. The couple’s daughter Debbie Dorrell got pinned inside. Crews had to rescue her.

She was later airlifted to UT Medical Center in Knoxville, Tenn.

The trio was on the way back from a NASCAR race in Virginia. Larry Sparks was an avid Jeff Gordon fan, for good reason.

“Larry taught Jeff in driver’s education,” said King, “They went to a lot of..."

To continue reading the full article and view the story that aired, click here.

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