US 27 crash victim ID’d as East Noble color guard instructor

Local News

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – People at East Noble schools are mourning the loss of a woman who died in a crash over the weekend. 39-year-old Erica Widmer was heavily involved in the color guard community.

The crash happened around 7:30 p.m. Friday at the intersection of U.S. 27 and Witte Road, south of Fort Wayne and just west of Hoagland. Officials told NewsChannel 15 that one person was taken away in critical condition but later died at a hospital.

Wider had worked at multiple schools across the state but most recently at East Noble where now, as school is right around the corner, students are planning what to do in her absence. As the band and color guard get ready to start the season, they’re feeling a major void. “It really is going to hit when we have to start rehearsal tomorrow,” Holly Lofland said. Lofland is the director of color guard.

“Our entire fall show is based around her mind. So this fall without her, every time we practice we’ll have a reminder of who she is and her creative mind,” Band Director Bryan Munoz said.

Munoz worked with Widmer. She also married into his family so she was in his band family and actual family “She was always someone who could challenge you creatively and that’s what I think I appreciated most from her as a staff member.”

Students described her as a friend and someone you could always count on. “There’s just no other way I can explain it, she was just really supportive of what we did,” Kristina Beck said.

Widmer’s teaching career spans 20 years. Lofland said she was a mentor to young instructors, including her at one point. “She was my mentor and my friend and I’ve been teaching ten years and I can say that I’ve never done it without her.”

With her they won dozens of awards, including 3 state championships. Widmer was also on Board of Directors of the Indiana State High School Color Guard Association.

Widmer’s cause of death was condidered “pending” until Sept. 5, when the Allen County Coroner’s Office ruled she died of blunt force trauma in an accident. An autopsy was performed in late June.

Widmer’s viewing was Thursday, Aug. 3 at 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at St. Joe United Methodist in Fort Wayne. Her funeral was also there Friday at 11 am.

Memorials were asked to be send to IHSCGA in lieu of flowers.

There was a candlelight memorial Tuesday after band practice at 9 p.m. on at East Noble.

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