Kentucky State Rep. Dewayne Bunch
As a community prays for the recovery of a school teacher critically injured while breaking up a high school fight, the science and math teacher's colleagues in the Kentucky National Guard remember a man they call a great leader.
Dewayne Bunch, the state representative for Kentucky's 82nd district covering the cities of Williamsburg and Corbin was injured when he tried to intervene in a cafeteria fight between high school students Tuesday morning.
The Whitley County Sheriff arrested the juvenile students involved, they face charges and are currently in custody.
Meanwhile, Rep. Bunch was taken to a Corbin hospital before being transferred to the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington.
"He's an outstanding individual. He's a true leader. He's a credit to the community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky," First Sergeant Chad Emery of the Kentucky National Guard said.
Chad Emery roomed with Representative Dewayne Bunch in 2007 as both men served with the 1st BA of the 149th near Baghdad. Shortly after Bunch was injured Tuesday morning, it didn't take long for the news of his severe injuries to spread throughout his National Guard family in Barbourville.
"It actually scared me, I was kind of shocked over the whole event because he was such a great guy," Emery said. "I was privileged to be underneath him and he was the one that inspired me to go for first sergeant."
Today, Emery hold the rank and position that Bunch did when he served in the Guard. While doctors have described Bunch's condition as "extremely critical", Emery and the community say they are pulling for the veteran, teacher, and lawmaker. In fact, Emery made plans to drive to Lexington Tuesday night to offer his support to the family and the man he used to report to.
"Just tell him, I'm praying for you. I wish you the best. If you need anything at all, just ask and we'll make it happen," Emery said.
State Rep. Dewayne Bunch, who also is a teacher at Whitley County High School, was flown to University of Kentucky Medical Center Tuesday morning in extremely critical condition after he was injured while breaking up a fight between two students at the school, the county sheriff's office said.
Bunch, 49, was injured while intervening in a fight between two boys in the school cafeteria, Whitley County Schools Superintendent Scott Paul said in a statement.
When emergency medical workers arrived, Bunch was unresponsive and bleeding from his ears.
"It doesn't look good," Paul said, according to the newspaper. "I'm dealing with his family right now. This is a bad situation."
Debbie Hardin, strategic services coordinator for Baptist Regional Medical Center in Corbin, said Bunch was brought there Tuesday in extremely critical condition and flown to UK Medical center in Lexington.
A spokeswoman at UK Medical Center was not immediately able to provide any information about his condition.
Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell was at the high school investigating and could not be reached for comment. Melissa Fuson, an office manager at the sheriff's department, confirmed Bunch was seriously injured while breaking up a fight.
The students involved in the fight were still at the school Tuesday morning and had not been charged, according to a deputy sheriff quoted by the News Journal.
Bunch, a veteran math and science teacher at the high school, is a Republican who took office in January after defeating longtime state Rep. Charles Siler in last May's primary election.
He represents the 82nd District, which includes all of Whitley County and part of Laurel.