LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A high school music teacher riding her bicycle to work Wednesday morning in Lordstown never made it to class. Instead, she’s recovering in the hospital after being hit by a van.
The first call to Lordstown 911 about the crash actually came from one of the people involved.
Dispatcher: “It’s an accident?”
Driver: “Yes. I hit a bicyclist.”
Dispatcher: “OK. Is he injured?”
Driver: “Um, yes.”
Police said the victim, 33-year-old Jenna Barvitski, was riding to work when her bike was hit from behind by a small van traveling the same direction.
The crash happened just after 7 a.m. along Carson Salt Springs Road, a short distance from the high school, and word spread quickly.
“We all need to be there for each other as well when something like this takes place,” said Superintendent Terry Armstrong.
Armstrong said the district immediately brought in its counselors and some outside help.
“‘Homes for Kids,’ which is a local mental health agency, they’re really helpful to us and most schools in the area. So they have somebody on-site and they’ve reached out and said they would send as many as we need,” Armstrong said.
While students and staff wait for word on Barvitski’s condition, the superintendent is urging the community to avoid spreading rumors, especially through social media.
“Let’s be respectful. There’s a family involved. One of our teachers is involved. Let’s be respectful to them,” he said.
In the meantime, police said the investigation is just beginning as they work to determine how fast the van was moving and whether the driver was distracted.
“We will, obviously, look at all those circumstances to make a determination,” said Police Capt. Chris Bordonaro.