Mount Whitney High students mourn teacher Scott Nelson's death

VISALIA, Calif.

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41-year-old /*Scott Nelson*/, a teacher at Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia, died Wednesday night when he crashed his bike on Rocky Hill road in Exeter.

A memorial bike ride is in the works right now. It is planned for August 27 at 7am at the movie theater parking lot in downtown Visalia.

Thousands of mourners are taking to the internet to remember the teacher they called "Big Nelson."

Stories and prayers sprang up quickly on Facebook Thursday, as news of the popular teacher's death spread. A page called "In Loving Memory of Scott Nelson" grew to more than 2,000 followers in just a matter of hours.

"He never gave up," said former student Travis Aguilar. "He always put people first in line, let people come to class at lunch to study with him."

Aguilar graduated in 2010. He said Scott Nelson was his favorite teacher. Scott cared so much about his students, Aguilar said, they became like family. "He's more or less, pretty much like a brother that could teach you math very well."

Aguilar is organizing the memorial bike ride and jog to honor Scott.

The plan so far is to ride from downtown Visalia to Mt Whitney High School. Scott Nelson worked at the school for 15 years. He taught math, and at one point ran the department. He also spent seven years as head football coach.

Karl Kildow taught Scott at Mt Whitney and later worked beside him. "I was one of those that knew he was going into education, you just knew he wanted to be a teacher and a coach," Kildow said.

The Nelson family did not want to speak publicly Thursday, but friends said the family is grateful for the outpouring of support from the community.

Funeral arrangements are still pending.

FACEBOOK: In Loving Memory of Scott Nelson

FACEBOOK: Scott "Big" Nelson's Jog and Cycling Memorial

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