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Crash Claims Teacher's Life | News

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Crash Claims Teacher's Life

A high school teacher died Sunday night when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a sport utility vehicle.

Classes were dismissed around noon Monday for all students in the Mahanoy Area School District after the death of well known teacher Jeff Donnelly.

School officials decided to cancel classes because of the overwhelming emotion in the district.

"I think some shock, disbelief. It's always sad when someone in the community is taken so quickly. It's just a very sad day," said counselor Jennifer Kern.

"It's just down. No one is paying attention in classes just thinking about what happened over the weekend," said student Jordan Renfrow.

According to investigators Jeff Donnelly, 51, of Barnesville was on his motorcycle Sunday night traveling on a rural road when an SUV driven by a man from Mahanoy City drifted into Donnelley's lane, striking and killing him. Police said there is a suspicion that the other driver was driving drunk.

"I just don't know what to think, it's just a blank it. I wouldn't think it. A drunk driver. It's just unbelievable how so much can be done in a flash," said student Pat O'Boyle.

"It's just unrealistic. I couldn't believe what happened, " said student Gage Cara. "Everyone's thoughts and prayers are with his family and him."

Students said the early dismissal was a good idea.

"It's just upsetting seeing other teachers cry. It's upsetting, yeah," said student Paige Mahmod. "I teared up just seeing other people cry and he's so close to everyone in our school."

"This can be a particularly difficult time for the, however as a team here at Mahanoy we're good at dealing with situations and coming together as a group as a community to help our students and our teachers," said psychologist Trina Delia.
Some students even altered their dress for the day.

"We decided that today in memory of Mr. Donnelly we were going to wear all black to just show appreciation of him," said student Greg Mershlinsky.

School officials said Jeff Donnelly was so important to Mahanoy Area that it will take a long time for healing.


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