Button Gwinnett Elementary School Principal Mary Mullen Guiendon was killed Wednesday morning in a car accident near Richmond Hill, according to Liberty County School System officials.
“It’s with a heavy heart that we inform you of some very tragic news; it is our understanding that this morning, our principal, Mary Guiendon, lost her life in an automobile accident while traveling to work,” Assistant Superintendent Jason Rogers said. “Students are going to be informed at the end of the day today, and grief counselors are on hand to assist students and staff with any issues.”
District spokeswoman Demere’ Bowen said counselors from several campuses were sent to Button Gwinnett, and the district planned to inform students after lunch to give them time to meet with grief counselors.
According to Lynne Todd with the Georgia State Patrol, Guiendon, 62, failed to brake as her vehicle approached a semi truck, which was stopped or slowing down on Highway 17 for a stopped school bus that was picking up students.
The accident, which occurred around 6:40 a.m. along Highway 17 south near the intersection of Cartertown Road in Bryan County, caused the highway to be closed for some time, though the highway is now reopened.
According to the GSP fatality report, Guiendon’s vehicle for unknown reasons “did not slow or stop” before striking the rear of the 18-wheeler. Additionally, the report said Guiendon was not wearing a seat belt.
- The Bryan County News contributed to this report.