Ocoee Middle School band director among those killed in I-75 cra - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: OMS teacher who died in accident laid to rest

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Ocoee MS Band Director Brian Gallaher Ocoee MS Band Director Brian Gallaher
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
UPDATE: One of the victims in the fatal crash on I-75 was laid to rest Monday. Brian Gallaher, 37, was one of six people killed in the wreck. He was a popular band director at Ocoee Middle School for 14 years.  

His trumpet sat on an empty chair during his funeral at Westmore Church of God on Monday afternoon.

"The way that he was able to walk into a middle school classroom of 100 plus kids at one time,
and be able to have their attention, make them laugh, and be able to teach them was just such an amazing
thing to watch," said Ashley McDonald, a former OMS band student of Gallaher's.

McDonald said she wouldn't be where she is today without her former middle school band director. Gallaher was also her mentor. He encouraged her to become the band director at McMinn Central High School.

"It's been so inspiring to take what he taught me and use it in my own classroom," McDonald said.

Gallaher inspired students -- past and present -- to love music.

"He wasn't just our band teacher that taught us how to be musicians, he was a lifelong friend," said one student, holding a poster as Gallaher's funeral procession made a stop in front of OMS.

"When they walked in as sixth graders, he told them 'You're not middle schoolers, you're musicians'," said Kelley Burroughs, who co-directed the OMS band with Gallaher for the last 10 years.

While music was his passion, Burroughs said Gallaher's family came first.

"He was completely in love with his family. It was beautiful the way he loved his wife and his kids," she said.

Gallaher's love for his family balanced with the love for his work strikes a chord that will live on for many.

"That's something I'll really always remember," said a tearful McDonald. "He was able to do both so well."




UPDATE:  Funeral arrangement have been release for Brian Gallaher, the Ocoee Middle School band teacher who died in Thursday's accident on I-75. 

Visitation will be Sunday between 3:00pm and 6:00pm at Westmore Church of God.  A Celebration of Life Service will be held Monday at 2:00 p.m. at Westmore Church of God. Burial will be at Hilcrest Memorial Gardens.

Ralph Buckner Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. 


UPDATE: Ocoee Middle School hosted a candlelight vigil Friday night in remembrance of Band Director Brian Gallaher, one of the victims in Thursday night's fatal crash on I-75.

The OMS Band Booster Club asked that participants wear their band shirts, or blue and gold.

Ocoee Middle School Band Director Brian Gallaher was one of six people killed Thursday night in a multi-vehicle crash on I-75 at the Ooltewah exit.

A statement from Ron Spangler, OMS principal, said: "All of us at Ocoee Middle School are in shock and deeply saddened by the tragic and untimely death of Mr. Brian Gallaher. He was admired and respected by all who had the opportunity to know him. The many students that Brian taught in class will be touched by this tragedy. Brian, as the OMS band director for 14 years, made a tremendous impact upon our students, parents, OMS family, and Bradley County Schools. Our heartfelt sympathy, thoughts, and prayers are extended to the family, students, and staff."

Gallaher was thre school's band director for 14 years, and leaves behind a wife and two children.

Bradley County Sheriff's Office confirms Gallaher is also the son of Bradley County Juvenile Court Director Terry Gallaher.

A gofundme account has been set up to help with expenses.  If you would like to donate click here




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