A former teacher and coach at Grace Brethren High School in Simi Valley, California, was among the 25 victims of the Metrolink train crash in Los Angeles earlier this week. Here is a excerpt from the Ventura Star, along with information about a memorial service to be held this afternoon at the Simi Valley church.
Paul Long wasn’t on his afternoon commute when his train crashed. An English teacher at Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, he was with his wife and teenage son, on the way home to Moorpark from the Burbank Airport, said Oaks Christian Headmaster Jeff Woodcock.
They had been in South Carolina for Long’s mother’s funeral, Woodcock said.
Long, 56, was severely injured in the crash and taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. He was taken off of life support and died at about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Woodcock said.
His wife Karen and his son Devin, a student at Oaks Christian, were not seriously injured.
Paul Long has just started his second year at Oaks Christian; before that, he taught and coached cross country at Grace Brethren School in Simi Valley.
“He was a great guy, just a very solid, well-liked teacher,” Woodcock said. “He just loved the kids.”
Students and teachers came to Oaks Christian on Saturday morning to pray for Long and wait for news on his condition, Woodcock said. On Monday, grief counselors and clergy members will come to the school to try to help both students and adults cope with their loss.
Grace Brethren Church in Simi Valley (John McIntosh, pastor) will hold a service today to honor the victims, survivors and emergency personnel from Friday’s train crash.
The service will begin at 6 p.m. The church is at 2900 Sycamore Drive in Simi Valley.