Norton: Popular ex-Brockton teacher, coach dies in crash

(AP) — The Brockton school system is in mourning following the unexpected death of a beloved retired teacher and soccer coach in a weekend car crash.

Police say a car driven by 61-year-old Hernani “Ernie” Branco veered off the side of a Norton road and struck a guardrail at about 2:40 a.m. Sunday. Branco was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police are investigating the single-vehicle crash.

Kathleen Smith, superintendent of Brockton Public Schools, tells The Enterprise that Branco cared deeply about his students and players.

He worked as a teacher at East Middle School and was an assistant housemaster at Brockton High School. He served for several years of the district’s alternative school.

He coached at Brockton high and Stonehill College.

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