Beloved Valley teacher dies of injuries from accident

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Bill Mellyn (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Bill Mellyn (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A longtime Mesa high school teacher has succumbed to injuries he suffered after being hit by a car while riding his mountain bike.

Bill Mellyn, 61, who taught at Mountain View High School in Mesa for 30 years, died Monday morning after his family chose to take him off life support. He was surrounded by family and friends.

According to a post on Facebook by his sister-in-law, Dorothy, everyone took turns saying goodbye. She said his passing took a few minutes, giving the family the knowledge that they did the right thing and he was ready to go.

Mellyn suffered several breaks in his back, two broken shoulders, and a severe head injury when he was hit by a car on May 17.

According to the Mesa Police Department, Mellyn was riding his mountain bike east on McKellips Road at about 3 p.m. Tuesday when a car driven by 19-year-old Juan Cabrera-Felix hit him. Police do not suspect impairment, but they believe speed may be a factor. Their investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.

Mellyn is a highly decorated and popular teacher. In 2008, he received the Seimans Award for excellence in teaching AP chemistry in the state of Arizona. He also received the Arizona Innovations Heroes Award from the Science Foundation of Arizona in 2010.

Mellyn's popularity is demonstrated by the fact that his students, not a family member, set up a GoFundMe account that raised more than $24,000 in 12 days.

One of the donors on the site identified as Helene Rhodes wrote this:

"Mr. Mellyn was one of the most inspirational teachers I've ever had. His belief that we can be great students and people made us believe in ourselves! I'm keeping Mr. Mellyn and his family in my thoughts and hoping for a speedy recovery."

According to his wife, Mellyn has been at nearly every graduation at Mountain View since he started teaching there. This year’s graduation ceremony was Thursday, May 26. Mellyn was not only going to be there, but he told his wife he would be graduating that night, too, graduating to retirement. The couple planned on moving to Taylor to spend their retirement years.

His wife will now be moving to Taylor without him. The couple was married in 1984; they have two daughters. 

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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