Retired Brockton educator and coach Ernie Branco died in a car accident over the weekend. Credit: Stonehill College/Google Maps
A beloved Brockton teacher and athletics coach died in a car crash in Norton on Sunday morning.
Hernani "Ernie" Branco, 61, died after the Cadillac CTS he was driving crashed in Norton about 2:40 a.m. Sunday, Norton Police Lt. Todd M. Jackson said in a statement Sunday, the Brockton Enterprise reported.
Branco's car veered off the road and crashed into a guard rail. He later died at Rhode Island Hospital. Police are investigating the cause of the accident.
Branco, a native of Portugal, worked at East Middle School and Brockton High School, and coached soccer at Stonehill College. He also served as principal at the Keith Center, known for housing Brockton's alternative programs.
Brockton Public Schools superintendent Kathleen Smith told the Enterprise that Branco was an adored figure in the school system.
“He was certainly supportive of many students, especially the neediest students,” Smith told the Enterprise. “Whether it was overseeing alternative programs or supporting finding other avenues, Ernie gave a lot to the city and to our city schools. We express our sympathy to his family.”