S.C. Teacher Dies After Being Struck by Falling Utility Pole on Lunch Break: 'Taken Too Soon'

"Her time here at our school and on this earth feels much too short," the principal said in a statement following Jeunelle Robinson's death

A South Carolina high school teacher was killed last week when a utility pole fell on her while she was on her lunch break.

Jeunelle Robinson, 31, was pronounced dead on Aug. 23 at Augusta University Medical Center, South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Brittany Glover told PEOPLE in a statement.

The deadly chain reaction began after a 2014 Peterbilt tractor-trailer traveling north on S.C. Highway 113 struck "low hanging powerlines" near the Pickens Street intersection in Wagener, according to Glover.

That's when a nearby utility pole fell on Robinson, who was walking south on S.C. 113.

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Witnesses told WRDW/WAGT that Robinson, who was on her lunch break, tried to get out of the way but wasn't able to. The incident caused the overhead powerlines to fall, briefly impacting power for about 25 customers, according to the report.

Glover said Robinson was flown to Augusta University Medical Center after being taken to Aiken Regional Medical Centers. The driver was not injured.

According to The Post and Courier, the incident prompted a soft lockdown at Wagener-Salley High School, where Robinson taught social studies.

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"This tragedy is devastating to all of us as Ms. Robinson was in her second year teaching social studies at Wagener-Salley," Principal Rasheem Neloms said in a message to parents. "Over the past year, she became friends with numerous colleagues and developed meaningful relationships with many of our students. Genuine and sweet to everyone she encountered, her time here at our school and on this earth feels much too short."

Her grieving family is now working to make sure an accident like this never happens again, with their attorney Justin Bamberg noting at a press conference Tuesday that the utility pole that struck Robinson was 60 years old, according to WRDW/WAGT.

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While a lawsuit hasn't been filed, Bamberg said the family is making requests to "make things right," including a $10 million trust for an annual scholarship in the 30-year-old's name for Aiken County students and $100 million for her estate.

The family is also seeking a commitment to a $20 million investment in the power and utility infrastructure of the towns of Salley and Wagener, WRDW/WAGT reported.

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“This absolutely could have been prevented if people had done their job,” Bamberg told The Post and Courier. “The only reason why this happened was because a lot of people didn’t do their job. Period.”

“She was taken too soon and was a joy,” Donovan Julian said about his daughter, the paper reported.

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