Durant teacher recovering after being hit by car

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DURANT, OK -- A teacher is recovering in a Plano hospital, after being hit by a car Monday night in Durant.

Police responded around 7:40pm near 12th and Locust streets, where they found Mara Richards.

She was flown to a Plano hospital where she is recovering from a cracked skull and multiple facial fractures.

Richards is an 8th grade teacher at Durant Middle School, and was named the 2013 Teacher of the Year, by the Durant School District.

Brady Baskin, Richards' son in law, said the driver hit Richards while she was walking Monday night.

"She didn't see it coming, someone came up from behind at a high rate of speed," he said. "She rotated over the car. Hit the car, I think the windshield, flew over the car, and hit the pavement."

Baskin said his mother-in-law briefly spoke to family members after they removed the ventilator today.

"It's just miraculous news right now, we're all really really excited," he said.

"she was just one of the most beloved among the kids."

Durant ISD Superintendent Jason Simeroth went to the hospital in plano today. He said for Richards isn't just a teacher at his school, this accident hit him personally.

"She was actually my daughter's science teacher. And when I told my daughter last night she got a little teary eyed. But thankfully we could also tell her she was fine," he said.

Simeroth said Richards has a good shot at becoming state teacher of the year.

"Her reputation, the things she does with the kids, the innovative classrooms, and the stuff that she does with the labs, and making the kids want to learn, those are some of the qualities that teacher of the year possesses," he said.

Baskin said they're receiving a lot of support - and the phones are ringing off the hook.

"When we got to the hospital last night actually, and we left right after the helicopter, there was already a room full of teachers that were before us waiting."

Police say Jak Ivie, 20, drove the Mitshubishi Eclipse that hit Richards.

They're charging him with reckless driving and failure to stop at a stop sign.

Police say they don't believe he was under the influence of any substances. But they're still investigating the incident.

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