Hundreds remember beloved Mesa teacher

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A community in Mesa remembered a teacher who died after being hit by a car (Source: KPHO/KTVK) A community in Mesa remembered a teacher who died after being hit by a car (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Bill Mellyn (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Bill Mellyn (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
The sidewalks surrounding the school were lined with luminaries. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) The sidewalks surrounding the school were lined with luminaries. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Hundreds came out for a touching tribute on Monday night to a beloved teacher who died Monday after being hit by a car.

Friends, family, and students held a vigil for Bill Mellyn at Mountain View High School, where he had taught for about 30 years. The sidewalks surrounding the school were lined with luminaries.

"He'd tell us lessons of life beyond chemistry," Leah Wild, a student, said.

Mellyn was 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.

"His specialty was making connections with kids," Mountain View High School Principal Greg Milbrandt said. "They loved him and the faculty loved him as well." 

Mellyn's popularity is demonstrated by the fact that his students, not a family member, set up a GoFundMe account that raised approximately $25,000 in 12 days.

Mellyn  died Monday morning after his family chose to take him off life support. He was surrounded by family and friends.

[READ MORE: Beloved Valley teacher dies of injuries from accident]

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.

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.

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


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