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UPDATE: Sheriff says zip-line fatality was an "unfortunate accident"

November 08, 2011|By Robert Marin | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News

(MAIZE, Kan.) —

Reno County 0fficials say Maize Central Elementary teacher Jeanie Weve lost her grip while using a zip line on private property in Pretty Prairie last weekend.

Officials tell us there was no harness on the zipline...only handles - but a number of other safety measures were in place such as stabilizing wires, padding, etc.

Sheriff Randy Henderson says the death was an unfortunate accident.

-------------------Original Story, November 7

A teacher from Maize Central Elementary School dies after a weekend zip-line accident in Reno County.

A spokesperson for the district says the school learned about the death of fourth grade teacher Jeanie Weve over the weekend. Weve had been with the district since 2008 and last year won a Milken award. That award is one of teaching's top honors.

The Reno County Sheriff says that 39-year-old Weve was  with family and friends Sunday evening riding a zip line. Witnesses told investigators Weve grabbed the zip-line and appeared to freeze as she jumped off. Investigators say she fell about 20 feet from the zip line.

Weve was taken by ambulance to a Wichita hospital where she died. Investigators say the accident happened at a private home in southeast Reno County near Pretty Prairie.

According to her biography on the Milken Family Foundation website, weve began her class each morning with activities like singing and dancing to warm-up students' minds and bodies. The site says in 2009 assessments her students ranked 97% in reading against the state average of 88%, and 98% in math compared to a state average of 86%.

The Milken website says Weve often would emcee pep rallies and assemblies and served in several leadership roles in the Maize school district.

In a statement from the district, Maize Central Elementary principal David Jennings said "She was a one of a kind teacher. What she created in her classroom can't be taught or manufactured. It came naturally as a result of Jeanie's personality and genuine love for each student. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her".

Grief counselors were on hand Monday at the school for students and staff. The district says Funeral arrangements for Weve are pending.

A school spokesperson says that Weve was on maternity leave when the accident happened. She is survived by her husband, two daughters and a son.

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