Freeman coach killed in car crash

As appearing in the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Thursday, January 2, 2003

RICHMOND, VA -- A 53 year-old Douglas Freeman High School teacher and track coach was killed Tuesday when police said he pulled into the path of another car on U.S. 360 in King and Queen County.

State police said Charles Barton Gordon was driving west on U.S. 360 in a 1979 Mercedes Benz around 6:40 p.m. when he attempted to make a left turn onto state Route 721.

The Mercedes turned into the path of a 1996 Doge Neon, traveling west on U.S. 360, and was struck in the right front fender.

Police could not determine whether Gordon, who lived in the 8500 block of Mark Lawn Drive, had been wearing a seat belt. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The passengers in the Dodge Neon were taken to Medical College of Virginia Hospitals. A report on their conditions was not immmediately available.

The were identified as Daniel Arthur Turner, 33, of Westmoreland County, who was driving; and Arlethea Arlene Harris, 43, of King William County. Police believe both were wearing safety belts.

The wreck remains under investigation.

Gordon was a member of Freeman\'s Science Department and primarily taught ninth-grade Earth Science, said Freeman Principal Edward H. Pruden. Gordon was also a longtime member of Freeman\'s track staff, specializing as the school\'s sprint coach.

\"I think over the years he\'s probably worked with many different areas of track and field,\" Pruden said.

Gordon had been at Douglas since at least 1985, Pruden said.

\"This was his 29th year in the classroom,\" said Pruden, adding, \"Our Freeman family is stunned and is grieving.\"