Former lawmaker Rep. Dewayne Bunch dies

07/11/2012 03:04 PM

Former state representative and Whitley County school teacher Dewayne Bunch has died.

Bunch suffered a serious brain injury while attempting to break up a fight between two students in the Whitley County High School cafeteria on the morning of April 12, 2011. The 50-year old math and science teacher was knocked unconscious after he caught a punch and his head hit the floor .

Bunch remained in critical condition and spent many months in rehabilitation
facilities in Atlanta, Georgia and Lexington.

The injury forced Bunch to resign his state representative seat. His wife, Regina, replaced him in a special election held in December. She was unopposed.

Members of the House Republican leadership released a statement on Wednesday.

“Dewayne truly represented someone who is committed to serving the public, whether it be as a school teacher, a member of the armed services, his church, and his neighbors. It was that caring commitment and dedication to the people of Whitley County that prompted him to run and win election as State Representative.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Regina, her family and all those who knew and loved Dewayne as they deal with his passing.”

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg also expressed sorrow in a statement.

“On behalf of the Kentucky House, I want to extend condolences to the Bunch family during this difficult time and want them to know they are in our thoughts and prayers,” Stumbo said. “Dewayne showed tremendous potential as a legislator, and his wife Regina has done an outstanding job in serving the remainder of his term.”

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell said, “I am saddened by the loss of former Representative Dewayne Bunch. As a teacher and state representative, Dewayne served the people of the Commonwealth, especially those in Whitley and Laurel counties, with distinction. He also proudly served our country in Iraq as a member of the Kentucky National Guard. Elaine and I send our condolences to his wife, Regina, his family, and all those in Whitley County High School that knew and loved him.”

The boys involved in the fight, who were 15 and 16-years old at the time, were charged with one count of first-degree assault and two counts of third-degree assault. It’s unknown if the juveniles will face any new charges now that Bunch has died.

In December, Regina Bunch gave Pure Politics her first in-depth television interview about the incident.

Governor Steve Beshear also offered his condolences.

“Jane and I were very sorry to hear of the passing of former Representative Dewayne Bunch. In his time with us in Frankfort, he shared many of our goals for a better Kentucky, especially in improving education,” Beshear said. “He was a dedicated teacher and legislator, and he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, particularly his wife Regina, who is serving admirably in her husband’s position as state legislator.”


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