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Elementary School Art Teacher Killed By Airborne Manhole Cover While Driving to Work


Elementary School Art Teacher Killed By Airborne Manhole Cover While Driving to Work (CBS News)

A Massachusetts elementary school art teacher was killed late last week when a manhole cover went airborne before smashing through her car windshield.

Caitlinn Clavette, 35, died in the freak accident Friday while she was on her way to work at Grover Elementary in Milton.

Footage taken at the scene of her death shows a massive hole smashed directly through the driver's side windshield.

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The tragedy occurred inside Boston's O'Neill tunnel just before 8 a.m. and investigators are still unsure how the 200-point metal cover became airborne.

"The equipment involved in the incident covers a storm drainage system and was last inspected June 12, 2014, and there is no indication the manhole has been removed recently for any necessary work," a Massachusetts Department of Transportation spokesperson said in a statement Friday. "Our sympathy goes out to the family of the victim involved in this horrific incident ."

Faced with the uncertainty surrounding her cause of death, Clavette's loved ones have turned to their fond memories of the Massachusetts native to help them through their grief.

"She wasn't just a coworker, she was a good friend," her former colleague, Debbie Forestell, told WCVB. "The kind that wrote you cards when she knew it was your birthday, or left silly notes on your computer when you were out of your classroom."

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Clavette, a master's grad of the  School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, was a serious athlete and member of an area triathlon team.

But of all her loves in life, Clavette's friends say her work was the most important to her.

"She was really enamored of her work," her triathlon teammate Sherman Roberts said. "She referred to her kids as 'little rascals' and she was always jumping up and down with excitement when her kids were progressing."

A visitation is scheduled for Monday, followed by a funeral mass and burial on Tuesday.

In honor of the beloved owner of a cat named Gizmo, Clavette's family asked that donations be sent to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in lieu of flowers.

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