LOXLEY, Ala. (WKRG) “I love Mr. Hall! He was the best teacher ever.” — Words of sympathy. “My heart is with you,” written by students at Mathis Elementary for 24-year-old Josh Hall, considered more of a friend than a teacher.

Josh Hall

“They just loved him, they absolutely loved him,” says principal and Hall’s former high school teacher Shannon McCurdy.

Hall’s life was cut short Saturday morning when his Jeep left Highway 59 in Loxley, eventually crashing into a tree. He died of his injuries at an area hospital. McCurdy says there was something special about Josh. “I think what drew people to him was that he was so fun-loving, so easy going, so easy to talk to, and I never saw Josh without a smile. He just brightened everybody’s day and everybody’s heart.”

A dozen white roses surround the tree where he lost his life. A photo of happier times wedged in the tree bark. For Hall, it was his work with his special education students that was his passion. “Best teacher in the world. So sweet,” says McCurdy as she reads another card.

His dedication to his students is reflected in their words that will be passed along to a family now coping with an unimaginable loss. “I know they are in shock,” McCurdy said. “I know the hurt, the pain that they must be feeling. It just breaks our heart,” she says fighting back tears.

Josh was working on getting his degree in elementary education. Teaching runs in the family — his mom Angie Hall is the principal at Fairhope Middle School and his older brother Phillip also works with special education kids in Spanish Fort.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.