(KUTV) Students at Vista Heights Middle School mourned the loss of seventh grade Social Studies teacher Dylan Thornton Tuesday.
The 35-year-old Orem resident was killed on his way to school Tuesday morning. He was driving on Interstate 15 near American Fork, Utah, when he hit traffic, swerved, and collided with the back of a flat-bed trailer.
"I miss him already," said Garrett Reagan, a seventh grader currently enrolled in Thornton's class. "He was like a really great guy. He was my favorite teacher. Everybody is upset he passed away."
Former students agreed.
Lexi Hamilton, a ninth grade student who took his class, said, "He always like to interact with the kids and just make class really fun. So it's a really sad loss."
Thornton was remembered for being a positive influence inside the classroom -- and outside.
"He was like a really great guy. He was my favorite teacher. Everybody is upset he passed away," said Lucas Silva, a former student, now in ninth grade.
Another student said Thornton even showed support to his former student when she lost her mom Freshman year. He attended her funeral, even though she was no longer his student.
Thornton leaves behind a wife and a young son.
"I'm sorry that [his son] has to go through this. We'll all miss him."
Counselors came to the middle and high school Tuesday for support. They will remain on scene through the end of the week.