Early this morning, a tragic accident occurred as one of Parkland’s longtime bus drivers departed to pick up her students. Kelly E. Smith, 42, passed away as a result of an accident. No students were on the bus at the time. There is speculation that she may have suffered some type of medical incident prior to or during the accident that made her lose control of her vehicle. Upon examination by emergency medical personnel, it was deemed that Kelly might have lost her life before losing control of the bus.
Dr. Louise E. Donohue, Superintendent of Schools stated, “First and foremost our prayers and sympathy’s go out to all of her family members in the loss of their beloved Kelly. Certainly we can’t help but give thanks that no children were on board the bus when the accident happened. This heartbreaking accident has prompted the Parkland community, yet again, to grieve and support one another through a difficult time. Kelly was revered by students and families alike and her loss is felt by all who knew her. This is a very sad day in Parkland. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kelly’s immediate family. We will also be here to support Kelly’s Mom, Carol, and brother, Matt, both of whom are also Parkland bus drivers.” She further cited that the District had support in place throughout the day including a team of Parkland and Lehigh County counseling personnel who helped to support colleagues and students. The administration and crisis team focused on meeting with all staff from the Transportation Department and then offered counseling sessions with the children who daily ride on Kelly’s bus route. A letter to parents will also be sent home with every child in the District and posted on the District’s web site.
Kelly Smith worked at Parkland for 12 years. She started her career in 1999 when she began driving a school bus for the District.