Marion Center Area School District and Smith Bus Company in rural, western Pennsylvania northeast of Pittsburgh, are mourning the death of school bus driver Sarah Slovinsky. She was 34.
Slovinsky, a four-year employee for Smith Bus, was involved in a three-vehicle crash at approximately 3:40 p.m. local time on Tuesday. A Pennsylvania State Police report stated a pickup truck rear-ended another vehicle waiting to turn left onto Route 85, and then veered into the path of the school bus, striking it nearly head on.
There were no students on board the school bus, and neither of the other motorists were injured. Firefighters had to extricate Slovinsky, but she succumbed to her injuries. The state police said she was wearing her seat belt.
An investigation was ongoing.
“She was a very valued member of our school community, active in PTA and our athletic programs. It’s a tough loss for all of us,” said Clint Weimer, the school district’s superintendent. “She was a very loyal and dedicated driver, and great to the students.”
Weimer told STN that Marion Center Area School District and Smith Bus were providing grief counseling to the community. He also confirmed that Slovinsky’s husband is a volunteer with the Plumville District Volunteer Fire Department. She is also survived by three sons, according to her Facebook page.
Jeff Vrabel, Sr., executive director of transportation and fleet services at Dayton Public Schools in Ohio, told STN that he was Slovinsky’s basketball coach at Struthers High School near Youngstown, Ohio.
“I remember her being a player and person with a huge heart who would do anything for anyone,” Vrabel said. “[She] always hustled and was the perfect teammate.”