Group Gathers For Vigil, Despite Requests To Postpone

September 16, 2010 Updated Sep 17, 2010 at 11:40 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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September 16, 2010 Updated Sep 17, 2010 at 11:40 AM EDT

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, NY ( WKBW ) The number of people showing up to Thursday night's vigil was an undeniable testament to the impact 37-year-old Brian Dugan's life had on the students, parents and fellow teachers he came in contact with in the classroom over the past 15 years in the Ken-Ton School District.

"It's tough just because I don't want to believe it, but it happened," sobbed Angelina Marzullo, a tenth-grader at Kenmore West.

Today's school day was unlike any other with hundreds of students and faculty getting grief counseling, distraught over hearing their favorite teacher was killed after being struck by a car while he was jogging Wednesday night.

"Everybody started crying. You know, you got some of the biggest, toughest guys in school start to cry...everybody else just kind of breaks down," said Timothy Glabien, an eleventh grader at Kenmore West.

"Although we are grieving and very hurt today, it is wonderful to have each other and that support is helping all of to get through," commented Karen Geelan, the Principal of Kenmore West.

Among the circle of mourners were students Dugan taught almost a decade ago, including Rose Bell-Izard, "Nine years ago I was in his English 10 class. He really just made us all feel special."

Witnesses told police 75-year- old Beverly Waltz ran a red light, striking Dugan. The accident happening around 8'o'clock Wednesday night on Sheridan Drive near Belmont. Dugan was pronounced dead at the scene. His death, a shock to the all who knew him. Many confused at why his life came to an abrupt end and sending up prayers for the man who meant so much to them.

"I bet he would do the same for almost any student, so just giving it back," said former student Rose Bell-Izard.

Dugan leaves behind a wife and children. The school has canceled some events, including the school dance Friday night.