Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) President Elizabeth Davis died Sunday, April 4 in a car crash, the union confirmed Monday.
The Easter Sunday crash also claimed the life of 68-year-old John Starr, of Annapolis Maryland.
Davis was driving around 10:30 p.m. Sunday on Route 301 near Harbor Way, in the Bowie area when her car collided with the one drien by Starr. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
The Washington Post first reported the crash Monday morning, but did not name her role with the WTU in the article.
At an April 5 press conference, DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) said he was shocked and saddened. “There’s definitely going to be a vaccum here,” Mendelson said.
“Liz worked extremely hard to represent the working men and women of DC schools,” said a statment released by Mendelson’s office. “Indeed, she was a fierce advocate. Her advocacy and zeal for excellence in education will be missed.”
At her April 5 press conference, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said that she was devastated to learn of Davis’s tragic passing, saying that teachers, labor, schools, students had lost a “champion” before calling for a moment of silence in Davis’s memory.
Davis grew up on Capitol Hill and graduated from Eastern High School and the University of the District of Columbia. She once said she never had any interest in anything but teaching.
Davis taught in DC Public Schools for 38 years before becoming WTU President. She won her third term in office last June.
“We see the Washington Teachers Union as ‘before Liz’ and ‘after Liz’,” said District activist Michele Tingling-Clemmons while introducing her at a 2018 conference. Tingling-Clemmons said Davis was an “able, ardent, vocal fighter for the rights of teachers, the workers that she represents and the students that they are all committed to teaching.”
This story is updating.