San Diego

Woman Killed in Christmas Eve Crash Was Preschool Teacher

Virginia Turcotte, a 65-year-old preschool teacher, was identified Tuesday as the woman killed in an accident in Serra Mesa on Christmas Eve.

She taught pre-school at the First United Methodist Church of San Diego for more than 25 years.  She is described as a matriarch. Parents loved her. Turcotte's work with the children touched many lives, her son David Johnson said.

As a teacher, a parent and grandparent, Turcotte seemed to subscribe to the "Mary Poppins" problem-solving philosophy, "In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun."  

"She was super creative she was wonderful to be around the entire house was filled with arts and crafts," Johnson said.

That was no exaggeration. In every corner of her home, in the trunk of the car, in every pocket she owned was a craft, a game, a toy and of course lots of squirrels.

"It just matched her personality she was just kind of squirrelly she was very fun," Johnson said.

Turcotte was killed just after a Christmas Eve celebration with her family. She was in a Ruffin Road crosswalk on the way to her parked car. She was struck by this white Hyundai. Behind the wheel was a 16-year-old boy.

"It's hard to say distracted driving looking at text just inexperienced driver," Johnson said.

The damage to the car is the terrifying illustration of the impact. She could not be revived.   

To her husband of 25 years, she was everything.

"She was his best friend,” Johnson said.

She was also everything to her sons, daughter, four grandchildren and countless students.

"Everybody looked up to her," Johnson said. "All the parents loved her. The kids loved her and always gave her hugs."

There won't be a Christmas that goes by without her fond memory.

The 16-year-old driver stayed at the after hitting Turcotte. Police are still trying to determine what caused the accident. So far there have been no charges.

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