An Indianapolis principal who died after she was struck by a school bus that had jumped the curb had pushed students out of the way before being hit, the bus driver told police.
Susan Jordan, a 22-year principal, was hailed by the Lawrence Township superintendent as a “legend” and a “great educator,” according to the Indianapolis Star.
“Quite frankly, ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about a legend,” Shawn A. Smith said of Jordan at a press conference.
The incident occurred during school dismissal around 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday, outside of the Amy Beverland Elementary School in Indianapolis. The bus apparently lurched forward, jumped the curb, and struck Jordan and two 10-year-old children, the Associated Press reported.
The bus driver told police that Jordan had pushed several students out of the way before she was hit, according to the AP.
Jordan died at the scene. The children were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
“Susan was an amazing educator,” the district said in a statement posted on its website. “She had a remarkable way of making everyone she came in contact with feel valued and important. She had a passion for children that is unmatched. The entire Lawrence Township Community mourns her loss and extends our sympathy to the Amy Beverland Community the multitudes of people whose lives she touched.”
Smith, the superintendent, also reflected those sentiments at the press conference.
“This is a great example of an educational leader in our state and our city. ... Just a phenomenal individual that truly cared about children. This is a tragic situation that we have. This loss is going to ripple across our district of 15,000 students,” Smith said, according to AP.
Classes have been cancelled for Wednesday, and the district has set up locations to provide emotional support to students and staff in the wake of the tragedy.
The bus driver will be tested for alcohol, the police told the AP.
Photo of Susan Jordan courtesy Lawrence Township Public Schools.
A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.