A tragic auto accident on State Road 52 took the life of a popular middle school principal, Adam Kennedy, 46, of Land O Lakes, Florida, early Friday morning, according to the ABC Action News.
At around 6:45 a.m. on January 20, Kennedy was on his way to meet with a parent at Crews Lake Middle School, even though he took the day off to celebrate his wife’s birthday when tragedy struck.
Kennedy was traveling westbound in a 2005 Dodge pickup truck on S.R. 52 near U.S. 41 when a semi-truck – driven by Jason Harbarugh, 41, of Wauchula – in front of him slowed down to make a right turn into Crossroads Saw Mill.
The school principal failed to stop and slammed into the back of the semi-truck, which was carrying a load of logs, causing the logs to smash into Kennedy’s truck.
After the SR 52 crash, Kennedy’s truck continued northwest and came to a stop after hitting a fence.
An employee, Percy Austin, at the saw mill witnessed the car accident and stated: “I saw the truck. It hit the ditch and then went up. Went up in the air like it was flying.”
Austin went on to say that the driver of the semi-truck had to take the keys out of Kennedy’s truck because the “wheels were still spinning, even after it hit the trailer, and smashed into a fence.”
“It was a sad thing to see, though. What can we do about it? There is nothing we can do about it. Just pray for his family.”
Emergency responders were called to the scene of the crash, but the Crews Lake Middle School principal could not be saved – he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Family and friends were devastated by the tragedy, including Kennedy’s wife, Abigail, who is a language arts teacher for the Pasco eSchool, along with their two children.
Linda Cobbe, who is the school district spokesperson, stated that “there are many administrators in the district that are devastated. I am. The superintendent was having a hard time keeping it together when he was calling school board members. And many students are seeking solace from the crisis team that we have here today.”
The driver of the semi-truck is not facing any criminal charges, and it was not immediately made clear if charges will be filed in the future.
When reporters asked for comments on the crash, the semi-truck driver was visibly upset, saying “yeah, drive safe. Get off your phones.”
The driver was asked if he believed the middle school principal that was killed in the SR 52 crash was texting and driving, he replied: “I don’t know.”
SCHOOL PRINCIPAL KILLED: Pasco County Principal tragically died in an accident with a truck! So sad. RIP. https://t.co/7BfWQm3KJF— wendy (@anchorwendyryan) January 21, 2017
After learning about the death of the middle school principal, the Pasco School District released the following statement: “The entire Pasco County Schools family is deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of Crews Lake Middle School Principal Adam Kennedy. He was an incredible human being and an amazing administrator.”
“We have crisis team members at the school, and at Weightman Middle School, where Adam was a social studies teacher and tech specialist for 10 years. He was appointed assistant principal at Crews Lake in 2009 and became principal on January 20, 2015.”
“Crisis team members are counseling teachers, staff, and students at both Crews Lake and Weightman middle schools,” the statement continued. “They also are available for district staff members at the district office complex campus, and to administrators and teachers throughout the district, to help them cope with the loss.”
The Florida Highway Patrol stated that alcohol was not a factor in the SR 52 crash; however, an investigation is underway.
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