Robbinsville High student drove car that killed superintendent, cops say
ROBBINSVILLE — A Robbinsville High School student was behind the wheel of the car that struck and killed the school district's beloved superintendent while he was jogging early Tuesday morning, officials said.
Superintendent Steven J. Mayer, 52, was struck by the car heading south on Robbinsville-Edinburg Road near his home just before sunrise at 6:12 a.m., authorities said. Mayer's dog also was struck by the car.
Authorities did not name the 17-year-old student, who had not been charged Tuesday morning. Police said the female student, a senior at the high school, was driving to school.
The incident is being investigated by the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.
In response to the tragedy, officials closed schools and canceled all after-school activities on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Mayer was well known in the community after having served as school principal for many years. He and his wife, who also is a teacher in the district, had three sons.
'Passion and belief in students'
Shreya Durvasula, 28, of Princeton Junction, remembers being a student at Grover Middle School when Mayer was the principal at the West Windsor-Plainsboro school.
"My family had just moved from Singapore, and Mr. Mayer took it upon himself to make sure I felt welcomed and acclimated to the new school," Durvasula said. "He was incredibly friendly, sweet, and this is a huge loss."
Mayor David Fried said he texted Mayer when he heard about the incident near the school, not yet knowing that Mayer was involved.
"Dr. Mayer was a ball of energy. He was someone that you always wanted to be around. He was the flame that ignited so many things."
Assistant Superintendent Kathie Foster, who will run the school district until the school board formally votes on hiring a new schools chief, said Mayer's "door was always open in his office" and "always had time for each person."
"We're all grieving right now, all of us, and the only way to walk through that grief is to uphold each other," she said. "He had so much joy and passion and belief in students that you couldn't contain it."
“The Robbinsville school district has achieved great success over the years under Dr. Mayer’s esteemed leadership and his commitment to excellence," state Sen. Linda Greenstein said. "His loss will be felt by all the students and families, teachers and staff who crossed his path and by the community at large. My thoughts are with the Robbinsville school community during this very difficult time.”
New Jersey Association of School Administrators President Patrick Fletcher said Mayer "was an enthusiastic champion for the children of New Jersey who will be sorely missed."
School official say flowers for Mayer can be placed at the gazebo at Foxmoor Community Park on Washington Boulevard. A candlelight vigil has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday night at the park gazebo. Parking is available at Foxmoor Shopping Plaza.
Dino Flammia contributed to this report.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.