A Richmond Hill resident and Liberty County school principal was killed Wednesday morning when her car struck a stopped semi-truck on Highway 17.
According to Lynne Todd with the Georgia State Patrol, 62-year-old Mary Mullen Guiendon failed to brake as her vehicle approached the semi-truck, which was stopped for a school bus that was picking up students.
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.
Guiendon was the principal of Button Gwinnett Elementary School in Liberty County.
“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 in a press release this morning. “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.
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.
The Coastal Courier contributed to this report.