Partner of teacher killed while jogging in accident on Fenland road says he is ‘lost without her’

THE partner of a much-loved teacher who was killed by a car while jogging on a Fenland road said he was “lost without her” as he described his grief yesterday.

Katherine Colson, known as Katie, a science teacher at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds, died in the crash on Friday at Littleport.

The popular 28-year-old, who went to school in Bury St Edmunds and had family in Newmarket, had been living in Black Horse Drove, just outside Littleport, with her partner Graham Maynard, 38, for four years in the house that they had built.

He paid tribute to her “amazing spirit” and said he was “lost without her”.

Mr Maynard, who has two children from a previous marriage, said Miss Colson, a former pupil of St Louis Catholic Middle School and St Benedict’s Catholic School, in Bury St Edmunds, was “everything” to him.

“Words can’t explain it, she had a smile for everyone. We did everything together and we were complete together.”

He said: “The way she made me feel was absolutely beautiful. Even when I had done something wrong she used to say ‘don’t worry, life is too short’.”

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He said Miss Colson, whom he gave the nickname Freckles, used to run for five miles every other day, always leaving early because she did not want to waste their time together.

“I’m glad that she passed away doing what she loved to do and I know that going through her mind was that she was coming home to me,” he said.

Mr Maynard said there were no firm details yet as to funeral arrangements.

Students and staff returned to King Edward VI School yesterday after the half-term break to be told the tragic news. Headteacher Geoff Barton said many staff and students had heard over the weekend about Miss Colson’s death, but it was only on returning to school it really hit them.

He said there was a “very emotional” staff meeting and then four assemblies with 1,400 students. The school set up a room for students who were feeling upset and the Christian Union also had a room where people could reflect on Miss Colson’s life.

Mr Barton said: “There was a great deal of raw emotion at the beginning of the day and I think it did us good just to have different sessions together, for the staff to come together, for the students to come together.

“I think that sense of collective grief was really important, and we talked to the students about the fact they would see staff upset just like students.”

He added how during the assemblies the school emphasised the need to both work together and also to use routine to carry them through. “To not change the timetable and not do anything apart from keeping routines going, and I think for most students that’s been very helpful.”

Sarah Whyand, head of maths and a friend of Miss Colson’s, said: “Katie was a much-loved teacher, colleague and friend who threw herself into all aspects of school life.

“Selfless and considerate, she constantly gave her time, commitment and energy to those around her. Katie touched the lives of so many with her compassion, sparkle, effervescence and optimism. A fantastic person; we will all miss her so much.”

There is due to be a low-key event at the school later this week – such as an assembly with prayer – in memory of the teacher for those who worked directly with her. A public event will be arranged at a later date.

The crash happened at 7.15am at Ten Mile Bank and involved a silver Fiat Punto. The driver, a 31-year-old woman from Welney, was taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital with serious injuries.

Her injuries were not life-threatening and she was in a stable condition.

Anyone with any information on the crash should call police on 03454 564564.

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