VENTURA (CBSLA.com) — A Ventura County assistant principal died over the weekend after he was hit by a car.
Christopher Prewitt, 38, was jogging on South Victoria Avenue in Ventura when he was hit around 6:50 a.m. Sunday.
Shante Chappell, 23, was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said.
Chappell, of Oxnard, was free on $50,000 bond and scheduled to appear in court Friday.
Prewitt, who worked at DeAnza Academy of Technology and Arts, lived with a severe hearing loss since birth, and had a passion for the sport of water polo.
In 1997, Prewitt competed with the US team at the World Games for the Deaf. He was also the school’s water polo coach, and he was able to turn his disability into an inspiration, according to the school’s principle, Hector Guerrero.
Guerrero also says that Prewitt would have likely seen the event as an accident, rather than dwelling on the actions of Chappell.
“I think that we need to focus more on who he was as a person, and the legacy he’s leaving behind, and the thousands of lives that he has impacted in his time here, in our world,” Guerrero said.
Prewitt and Guerrero enjoyed a number of lighthearted moments in their relationships with their students, including wearing super hero costumes to school, just one week before the accident occurred.
“He was a man you could never bring down whatsoever,” Guerrero said. “Positivity was what Chris Prewitt was, and the kids absolutely loved that about him. They set up a memorial inside campus today, and one of the things they keep saying today is that they miss his wink. He would always smile at everyone, and say ‘have a great day’.”
A small, white cross has been erected at the spot where Prewitt died.
“I was his principle, he was my assistant principle,” Guerrero said. “But I wanted to be like Chris Prewitt.”