A Lancaster School District teacher who died last week after an accident in Manheim Township, the cause of which is unclear, is remembered as a selfless and devoted friend by those who knew him.

Lancaster School District Cyber ​​Pathways teacher Christopher Perry “was a fighter for people less fortunate,” said Nate Bomberger, one of his longtime friends. “I don’t glorify it or romanticize it. The guy was just one of those people who rightfully cared about his community and everyone else.

Perry was heading south along Harrisburg Pike toward the city of Lancaster around 5 p.m. Thursday when his vehicle left the road on a hill near a Resident Inn near the Route 30 overpass. His cause and circumstances of Deaths have not been determined, Lancaster County Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni said Saturday.

The vehicle Perry was driving came to rest with only minor damage. A Lancaster County-Wide Communications supervisor previously told LNP | LancasterOnline, it was unclear whether Perry died from the accident or due to a medical complication.

The coroner’s office will review Perry’s medical records on Monday to determine if an autopsy will be required, Diamantoni said.

Perry began her career with the Lancaster School District in 1997, teaching social studies at Buehrle Academy, Lincoln Middle School, JP McCaskey High School and most recently with Cyber ​​Pathways, the school district said. He also previously worked in Sano, Japan, Lancaster’s sister city, between 2017 and 2019.

The Lancaster City resident “embodied the impact that dedicated educators have on students,” said McCaskey principal Justin Reese. “Mr. Perry was committed to the growth and success of every student, and was a friend and colleague to all. As we deeply mourn his passing, his legacy continues in the Lancaster School District and throughout the community of Lancaster for the example he set and the thousands of lives he touched.

The man nicknamed ‘Tornado Man’ was ‘someone taken from us far too young’ who ‘gave so many precious years to our students,’ the McCaskey Alumni Association said in a social media post on Saturday. .

“He really cared about his job,” said Alan Wert, another longtime friend of Perry’s. “He was a school teacher, and that meant the world to him. These children meant the world to him.

Wert, a DJ, like Perry had been, met Perry over a decade ago at a record store. The two have become friends over the years, often having long discussions about new audio equipment or the hottest records.

Perry also coached swimming at McCaskey, becoming a friend and mentor to Rebecca Kreider, one of his athletes. The two have stayed in touch over the years, with Perry serving as DJ at Kreider’s wedding and delivering a thoughtful impromptu speech.

“It was a gem,” said Kreider, 38. “He was my hero and the inspiration to so many people. There’s a huge hole the size of a Tornado Man in McCaskey.

Perry was an optimistic coach, teaching his swimmers to encourage others and encouraging Kreider to be a leader – “something in me that I didn’t know I had,” she said. The team took on a family spirit, with everyone feeling included.

“Kids who won medals in the United States and kids who could barely get down in the pool and back were equal in his eyes,” Kreider said. ” It was magical. He was magical.

Perry then joined Kreider as an assistant when she became a swim coach herself at McCaskey, an experience the Ephrata resident described as “a dream come true.”

“He’s one of those guys who’s always been pretty selfless,” said Bomberger, who met Perry about 20 years ago after being introduced by a mutual friend when Perry was working as a DJ playing club music. . The two never grew too far apart over the years, keeping in touch through social media and eventually becoming close friends.

Over the years, Perry has become one of Bomberger’s biggest cheerleaders, voicing her support and frequently coming up with new ideas when Bomberger, 47, quit his career as a software engineer to start his own political podcast. A few years ago.

Perry even appeared as a guest on the fledgling podcast, discussing his experience with Japan’s healthcare system based on his experiences there in what Bomberger described as “definitely one of my best shows.” .

Appearing on the show, just when Bomberger felt ready to abandon his new venture, breathed new life into the project.

Perry had been battling cancer for some time, some of his friends said, although Bomberger didn’t know what type it was. Perry, who had undergone chemotherapy at one point, “was pretty private about it,” Bomberger said, though he believed Perry was on the mend at the time of his death.

“It’s tough too,” Bomberger said. “He was in a good position”

Perry was the kind of person who cheered up his friends when they were down or offered kind words if they made mistakes. Moving forward without his presence is a daunting task, Bomberger said.

“He was a mainstay,” Bomberger said. “He was one of the legs of the stool that kept me going.”

It was unclear on Saturday whether Perry had left his family behind, but Kreider said his infant son predeceased him years ago.