Temecula School Assistant Principal Dies in Tractor Crash

Shelly Graesser, assistant principal at Vail Ranch Middle School, was killed when a tractor she was riding overturned at her family's berry farm.

Updated at 8 p.m.

The accident occurred shortly before 7:30 p.m. Friday, according to sheriff's Deputy Joshua Morales.

Shelly Graesser was trapped beneath an antique tractor on rural land off Cantrell Road, Morales said.

"Preliminary investigation indicated Graesser was alone while operating an antique tractor on her property, when the tractor overturned and caused her to sustain fatal injuries," Morales told Patch.

The Temecula Police Detective Bureau and Riverside County Coroner are investigating the incident, Morales said.


Funeral arrangements were pending today for Shelly Graesser, assistant principal at Vail Ranch Middle School in Temecula.

Graesser, who was in her late 30s, was killed Friday evening when the
tractor she was riding on flipped over at her family's berry farm -- Temecula Berry -- near Temecula's Wine Country, according to sheriff's deputies.

Vail Ranch Principal Kevin Groepper said that grief counselors will be
on the campus beginning Monday to meet with students and staff members.
Graesser is survived by her husband, Mike, and two children, Daisy and

According to the school web site, Graesser joined Vail Ranch at the
close of the 2003-04 school year. She earned her undergraduate degree at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and completed her master's degree ineducational administration at Cal State San Bernardino.

Graesser taught eight years of math and science in middle school and
elementary school in the Temecula Valley Unified School District before becoming Vail Ranch assistant principal.

-- City News Service contributed to this report.

markgarcie April 30, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Very sad, RIP Shelly
Temecula momma April 30, 2012 at 01:21 AM
That makes me sad..we go to the The berry farm each year to pick berries....they are wonderful people....prayers go out to you and your family.....
residentX April 30, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Horrible tragedy. So very sad.
Christine April 30, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. We are so sad for your loss. We love your berry farm and will be there to pick berries when you open. God Bless You.
kim florence April 30, 2012 at 03:11 AM
I am so sorry for your family. Our family loves to visit your farm. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. the florence's
Kailey April 30, 2012 at 04:58 AM
Goodbye mrs. Graessur! You will be missed :(
Diana April 30, 2012 at 06:45 AM
Prayers go out to the entire family! She went to my church and I'm confident when I say this.."to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord!" once again..I'm so grateful for The Cross!!
Susan Valentino April 30, 2012 at 04:07 PM
So very sorry our prayers are with you ....
Christy92592 April 30, 2012 at 05:48 PM
She was my daughters V.P. @ Vail Ranch Middle School, truly a VERY NICE LADY! She went way out of her way to make sure ALL of her Students (& Parents) were safe & happy! ALWAYS had a smile on her face! She WILL be MISSED... But NEVER FORGOTTEN! R.I.P. Mrs.Graesser Thoughts & Prayers to You & Your Family & Friends.. Students! The Pawlack Family
Shannon Mallen April 30, 2012 at 07:46 PM
My dad works with her husband Mike. He said she was the sweetest and nicest person u could ever meet. Our thoughts and prayers are with ur family! R.I.P Shelley
Karen Robertson April 30, 2012 at 10:01 PM
I love all the Graessers and my heart is breaking for them. I was one of Shelly's teacher trainers and friend of the family. May Jesus bring comfort to them all. Karen
Adriana April 30, 2012 at 11:08 PM
I didn't know Mrs. Graesser that well, but she was an amazing Vice Principal. He knew how to make people laugh and always had a smile on her face. she would always understand. In fact, that Friday at school, she said that if anything happened to her she wanted everyone to be happy. RIP I am praying for your family and friends!
Kim Clancy May 01, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Words cannot express how sad and devastated we are to have lost you. Your family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers...RIP Shelly! The Clancy Family
Momma to 4 May 01, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Horrible accident. We love the Blueberry Farm! She will be missed.
monique May 20, 2012 at 04:13 PM
i knew mrs.graesser since 7th grade always in her office wiether it was to be disciplined,just to say hi,or just someone to talk to about my life r.i.p you will be missed and remembered she was the awsomest vp


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