Johnstown math teacher killed in bicycle accident, school district says; In town of Amsterdam, sheriff says


JOHNSTOWN – A math teacher at Johnstown Jr.-Sr. High School was killed Thursday evening in a bicycle-car collision, Greater Johnstown Superintendent William Crankshaw said in a letter to parents Friday.

“It is with a heavy heart that I let you know that Mr. Russell (Russ) Snyder, a mathematics teacher at Johnstown Jr.-Sr. High School, died Thursday evening from injuries sustained in a tragic bicycle accident,” Crankshaw wrote.

Crankshaw did not give further details on the crash, but Montgomery County Sheriff Jeffrey Smith confirmed the collision happened between a bicycle and a vehicle Thursday night at about 8 p.m. on Log City Road in the town of Amsterdam.

The sheriff indicated he expected to release further information next week.

Snyder had just completed his ninth year as a teacher in the district, Crankshaw wrote. “He was a dedicated teacher and mentor, and an adored colleague.” 

Snyder primarily taught middle school-aged students this past year.

Reached Friday, Scott Hale, the principal at Johnstown Junior-Senior High School, described Snyder as the type of teacher every guardian wants for their child.

“Russ was a kind soul with a very laid-back personality that many students could relate to. He was a student-centered teacher and a well-respected colleague and friend to many in the district. This is a tremendous tragedy for our tight-knit school community and it will take time for our staff and students to process his loss,” Hale said. “The next few weeks will be challenging and difficult, but we will be here for each other, as well as for Russ’ family — especially his wife Heather and their two children.

If parents need assistance in communicating with their child about the news, parents can contact Principal Scott Hale, Crankshaw wrote. 

“The District has many resources available to help your child and your family through this difficult time,” Crankshaw wrote.

“As a school community, the GJSD mourns Mr. Snyder’s loss,” Crankshaw concluded. “We continue to keep his entire family, including his spouse Heather (a teaching assistant at JJSHS) and two young children, foremost in our hearts and minds.”


By Steven Cook

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