Update: 2:30 p.m.: More details emerged today as Temecula Valley Unified School District spokeswoman Melanie Norton confirmed that the accident happened in Temecula late Friday at a local farm.
According to Norton, it is believed that Graesser was riding on a tractor when it flipped. Graesser succumbed to her injuries at the scene.
Norton also confirmed that Temecula Police Chief Andre O’Harra called Temecula Valley Unified School District School Superintendent Tim Ritter to inform him of the accident on Friday.
Update 10:42 a.m.: Temecula Valley Unified School District spokeswoman Melanie Norton said by phone this morning that district officials are still piecing together the details of the accident that claimed Graesser’s life.
“We are all just stunned. Speechless. It’s one of those unthinkable tragedies. It’s such difficult news to hear,” Norton said, adding how loved Graesser was by staff and students.
Norton said that grief counselors will be in place for students and staff at the campus on Monday morning.
She added that as more information is learned, it will be made available to the public.
Original: A letter from Temecula’s Vail Ranch Middle School principal Kevin Groepper this morning informed students and staff of the passing of Shelly Graesser.
Graesser died of injuries received in an accident late Friday, the letter said.
Graesser was an assistant principal at Vail Ranch Middle School for eight years and leaves behind husband Mike and two children — Daisy and Gage.
Groepper’s letter read in part, “We will have professional grief counselors as well as other district personnel at school this next week to assist students having difficulty coping with this tragic accident. I encourage you to speak with your child about this, listen to them and if you have any concerns about how they are handling this please contact us at school.”
Temecula Mayor Chuck Washington said in reaction to the news: “I didn’t know her, but I am very saddened by the news of losing such a loved administrator. I know the kids and their families are going to be greatly impacted.”
This is a developing story. Check back in with SWRNN for more information as it comes available.