La Feria High School mourns volunteer's tragic death

Jerry Steinbach // File Photo

Thursday was a somber day at La Feria High School where officials held a a moment of silence to remember a beloved volunteer.

Jerry Steinbach lost his life in an auto accident just south of Robstown on Wednesday.

Steinbach and his wife Karen, the school's culinary arts teacher, were on their way with six students to a state competition in Waco.

Karen was behind the wheel of a rental car with three students while jerry was in the couple's personal vehicle with the others.

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) state troopers are currently said charges for the driver of the 18-wheeler are pending.

Investigators say seat belts saved the lives of the students aboard Jerry TMs car.

La Feria Interim Superintendent Robert Rivera said Jerry Steinbach will be remembered by many.

"He was passionate... he was always helpful to our kids... he was a great guy, Rivera said.

The interim superintendent said he was on the committee that hired Karen Steinbach as a teacher four years ago.

Her culinary arts program grew and currently has 150 students.

Jerry regularly volunteered his time to help his wife TMs program succeed.

Rivera said the school district is making counselors available to students and staff at the high school.

We've been working with the kids, Rivera said. I've been at that school myself this morning. Things are relatively calm. Obviously, there's a lot of sadness in the air but the kids are doing well."

School administrators traveled to Corpus Christi to meet with Steinbach and the families of the students on Wednesday evening.

Rivera said Karen returned home last night.

The interim superintendent said the school district is in touch with all those affected and working on legal and insurance issues.

"Right now, we're just making sure everyone is doing fine, including Mrs. Steinbach, Rivera said. We made sure this morning, and checked in on her. Her family is with her. We're also in constant communication with her making sure her needs are being taken care of."

Rivera said the town of La Feria has united in the tragedy.

He said the school held a moment of silence during the Thursday morning announcements in honor of Jerry.

"We're all in this together, Rivera said. We're very saddened by the tragedy. We hope things go back to normal very soon."

Funeral arrangements for Steinbach were not immediately available but are expected to take in the place in the Houston area.

The family is requesting donations be made to the Salvation Army.