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Boston Teacher Fatally Struck by School Bus While Walking Dogs: 'Just Terrible,' Fiancé Says

·3-min read
Jennifer Formichelli, English teacher at Boston University Academy
Jennifer Formichelli, English teacher at Boston University Academy

Jean Lee BUA’20/Boston University Jennifer Formichelli

Jennifer Formichelli, a 47-year-old teacher at Boston University Academy, died on Tuesday morning after being struck and killed by a school bus.

Boston police said Formichelli was walking her dogs outside in her Mattapan neighborhood when she was fatally struck, according to local news station WHDH.

"I heard the thud, and I looked just to make sure it wasn't my car," one witness told ABC affiliate WCVB. "And I saw the lady screaming and saying somebody's been hit, call 911."

Witnesses told the outlet that the bus did not stop after striking Formichelli.

Emergency crews arrived at the scene around 7 a.m. and found the teacher, who was suffering from serious injuries, police told WHDH.

She was then transported to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead, reported WCVB.

The Boston Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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Formichelli's fiancé Fillmore Parris said he knew something was wrong when he woke up on Tuesday.

"I just got up this morning and her car was still here which was strange because she's usually at work at this time," he recalled during an interview with CBS Boston.

After learning the devastating news, he rushed to the hospital.

"The doctor came and I was like, 'Just give it to me straight, is she alive?' and he said no," he told the outlet. "I sat there with her for like an hour, holding her hand, it was just getting colder and colder and it's just not what I expected when I woke up this morning."

"It was just terrible," he remarked to WHDH.

Formichelli worked as an English teacher at BU Academy, a private high school operated by Boston University.

"Jennifer will be remembered as a thoughtful, highly intellectual scholar of English literature," BU Academy said in a statement on Tuesday. "A champion of social justice, deeply committed to equity and inclusion in and out of the classroom; a trusted advisor; a warm and loyal colleague and friend; and, most of all, an engaged and dedicated teacher who loved her students."

"Through her work at BU Academy, she shaped the lives of hundreds of young people. She was a cherished member of our school community and will be deeply missed," the school's statement concluded.

She was also working on a book about a quadruple homicide that took place in Mattapan back in 2010.

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Parris, who got engaged to Formichelli last year, told WHDH that in addition to her love of teaching, she was passionate about animals and her family.

"She loved her pets, she loved her family," he said. "She's just an all-around good person."

As he continues to grieve, Parris said that he's "getting increasingly angry" about what happened, according to CBS Boston.

"I don't care if you're driving a tank, you know if you've hit somebody, especially somebody that is as visible as her, running with two dogs," he told the station.

"I can't believe that somebody is going to hit a woman, a school bus driver that's entrusted with people's kids," he remarked during an interview with WCVB. "I just find it ridiculous that they would do something like that and keep going."

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Police have located the bus and driver responsible for hitting Formichelli, according to WCVB.

The identity of the driver has yet to be released and no charges have been filed, per the outlet. Police have said the bus did not belong to Boston Public Schools, but have not provided additional information.

An investigation is ongoing.

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