Fiery crash on Cross Bronx kills beloved special education teacher

Shelly Vilsaint was killed when her car and two tractor-trailers collided and quickly caught fire. Students and staff at Frederick Douglass Academy III, where she taught, say they are still in shock and mourning.

News 12 Staff

Dec 1, 2022, 10:20 PM

Updated 590 days ago

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A fiery car crash along the Cross Bronx Expressway on Tuesday killed a beloved Bronx special education teacher.  
Shelly Vilsaint was killed when her car and two tractor-trailers collided and quickly caught fire. Students and staff at Frederick Douglass Academy III, where she taught, say they are still in shock and mourning.
The crash happened while Vilsaint was on her way home Tuesday, headed toward New Jersey on the expressway, according to police. The flames from the crash engulfed all three vehicles. The NYPD says Vilsaint rear-ended one tractor-trailer, leading to a second one rear-ending her. 
Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson and NYC Schools Commissioner David Banks attended the school to commemorate her life. 
“Speaking to the principal of the school, he said she was ‘that teacher,'” said Banks. “You know, that one teacher in every school that every school has that everyone is drawn to.” 
Banks said Vilsaint had taken a group of students from the girls basketball team to watch the Nets play hours before the accident. Staff and students plan to host a memorial in her honor.  


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