Teacher Dies Getting Pinned Between Buses Outside Alabama School
Mark Ridgeway, a father of four, was conducting a routine check of his bus prior to his morning route when the unoccupied vehicle started to roll away, according to People.
Mark Ridgeway, 58, who was a teacher at the school as well as a bus driver, was killed in a tragic accident when he was pinned between the two school buses outside of Mortimer Jordan High School in Kimberly, Alabama, according to People.
Ridgeway, a father of four, was conducting a routine check of his bus prior to his morning route when the unoccupied vehicle started to roll away, according to People.
At that time, Ridgeway became stuck between the two buses as a result and was pronounced dead at the scene when first-responders arrived, according to ABC 3340.
Mortimer Jordan High School principal Craig Kanaday confirmed Ridgeway's death in a letter to families in the district, which was posted on Facebook.
Kanaday called the incident "a tremendous loss."
“He was a selfless and devoted person to his faith, his family, and his school. As a personal colleague of mine for more than 25 years, Mark leaves behind cherished memories but also a great void among all circles of his life,” he wrote of Ridgeway.
"The number of lives he touched on a daily basis is immeasurable and he will be deeply missed," Kanaday wrote.
Ridgeway was a history teacher at the school, where he taught for nearly 30 years, and was a pastor until retiring from the position last summer, according to People.
Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Walter Gonsoulin said Ridgeway described the incident as "tragic" and added that no students were involved, in a statement to ABC 3340.
He said there was at least one student who witnessed "some of the scene" after the incident.
The district sent students and staff home following the incident. Classes resumed Thursday morning, according to ABC 3340.
A grief counseling team was assembled to assist school members when they return.
"Today has been a very tough day for the family of Mortimer Jordan. We offer our prayers for the whole family. Especially those kids that were in his class, that will go to class tomorrow and he won't be there or those kids on his bus route, that he won't be there to pick them up. I feel for those kids. Our hearts heavy for the whole family," Joe Knight, Jefferson County Commissioner for District 4, said in a statement to ABC 3340.
Friends of Ridgeway's took to Facebook to post about their loss.
"I can't even imagine what his wife and family are going through. He was a great man. We have known each other for over 30 years," wrote a friend, Larry Ragland, on Facebook. "He made a HUGE impact on Mortimer Jordan, those he pastored and ministered to over the years, and most importantly, his family. Praying for the family, the school, and the community."
Andrew Johnson, who would pass Ridgeway while on his route, wrote, "It hit me this morning on my route that I will never see my buddy Mr. Ridgeway driving 18-30 again. We passed each other multiple times during our route while he always gave me the one finger wave. I always looked forward to seeing Mark every morning and every evening. Mark was the first one to encourage me on my first day driving after I totally thought I messed up and made him mad."
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