Beloved faculty member identified in school bus accident at Mortimer Jordan HS
WARRIOR, Ala. (WBRC) - UPDATE: Jefferson County Schools has identified 58-year-old Mark Ridgeway as the teacher and driver killed Wednesday morning as a result of the tragic accident at Mortimer Jordan High School.
Police say shortly after 6:30 a.m., they were notified of an accident involving a staff member at the school.
According to early investigative reports, Ridgeway was performing standard checks of the bus before beginning the morning route. The unoccupied bus began to roll and struck the employee.
Principal Craig Kanaday released the following statement:
Katelyn Thomas, a Mortimer Jordan High School graduate, said Ridgeway was an old soul who cared for everyone.
“He was never judgemental. He always put God first,” Thomas said. “He was a minister and you could tell that was the just the root of his life and the root of his family and it just radiated through him and to know him was to love him.”
Jefferson County Schools also released the following statement:
We offer our prayers, sympathy, and condolences to the family of Mr. Mark Ridgeway. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and co-worker. Please hold his family, friends, and the Mortimer Jordan community close to your hearts during this difficult time. 💙🤍 pic.twitter.com/hZlariXr20— Jefferson County Schools (@JEFCOED) January 25, 2023
“Waking up this morning and seeing all the messages and Facebook posts I was so shocked because I couldn’t think of one person that deserves to be here and that deserves people to know him and feel his love more than anyone,” Katelyn Thomas said.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Traffic Reconstruction Team (START) is conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding this accident.
Original Story: A faculty member at Mortimer Jordan High School was killed Wednesday, Jan. 25 after an accident involving a school bus on campus.
According to Superintendent Dr. Walter B. Gonsoulin, the 58-year-old staff member was a bus driver and also a teacher for more than 20 years at Mortimer High School.
School officials say classes and all activities have been cancelled for the day and will resume Thursday.
Grief counseling will be available for students and teachers Friday.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Copyright 2023 WBRC. All rights reserved.