NORTH EAST, Md. (WJZ) — Cecil County Public Schools are mourning the loss of a North East elementary school teacher who was killed in a motorcycle crash in Howard County Saturday evening.
Bay View Elementary School teacher Kristen Snyder was killed after she was ejected from a motorcycle after it crashed along Route 175 in Columbia around 5 p.m. Saturday. Snyder, 26, is a fifth-grade special education teacher who lived in Elkton. She was in her third year of teaching in CCPS.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends, colleagues, students, and the entire BVES community,” Cecil County Schools shared on social media Sunday.
Snyder was also brought up in Cecil County Public Schools, graduating from Rising Sun High School herself.
“May God Bless Kristen, her family and the entire Rising Sun / Bayview community,” CCPS Superintendent Dr. Jeffery Lawson tweeted.
Yesterday, Kristen Snyder, who was a fifth grade teacher at Bayview Elementary School, was killed in a traffic accident. A gifted 26 year old teacher and a RSHS grad. May God Bless Kristen, her family and the entire Rising Sun / Bayview community. pic.twitter.com/qU9g828xIA
— Dr. Jeffrey Lawson (@DrJalawson) May 17, 2020
On Sunday, Howard County Police identified Snyder as the passenger killed in Saturday’s motorcycle crash.
The deceased passenger has been identified as 26-year-old Kristen Renee Snyder of Elkton. The operator, who remains in critical condition, has been identified as 33-year-old Jamie Charles Zavala of Glen Burnie. The investigation into the cause of the collision is ongoing.
— Howard County Police Department (@HCPDNews) May 17, 2020
The crash happened around 5:15 p.m. on a ramp from Route 175 west to northbound Route 29. The Howard County Police Department said the operator of a 2011 Yamaha motorcycle lost control of the bike and hit a guardrail.
Both the operator and the passenger, Snyder, were ejected. The operator, Jamie Charles Zavala, 33, of Glen Burnie, was taken to an area hospital in critical condition, police said. Snyder died on scene.
Snyder is being remembered by her school as a bright light.
“She was a bright light for us,” Tony Petinga, the Principal of Bay View Elementary School, said. “She was someone who would do anything for anybody. The kids loved her the staff loved her so enthusiastic all the time.”
Petinga said she knew many of her colleagues personally.
“That’s what people want here when they come to this building,” Petinga said. “They want to be part of each others lives personally. It’s not just a job, and she was at the forefront of that.”
Petinga said because school is not in session, it’s hard to help the kids cope with this loss.
“Were struggling to share news with them and counsel them when they’re not here and in our care,” he said, though counselors were made available for students, staff and teachers.
Whenever the school does open back up, Petinga said there will be a void where Snyder was.
“Coming back to school whenever we’re able to come back and not see Kristen here will be really difficult for this staff,” Petinga said.
The school hopes to do a vigil or memorial for Snyder, but in the meantime, they are trying to lift each other up by sharing stories of their beloved co-worker.
According to Snyder’s social media, she studied education at The University of Delaware.