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Commack Schools Mourn Loss of Beloved Bus Driver

Wayne Wickard died Monday while on his way to make his morning rounds.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.
Students and parents described Wayne Wickard, who died after being struck by a car while walking to work Monday morning, as a kind man who always had a smile on his face to greet his young riders.

Parents and students said that Wickard was always on time and made their children feel safe on their way to school.

"We are deeply saddened by the untimely passing of Bauman Bus driver Wayne Wickard, and offer our sincere sympathies to his family. Mr. Wickard was loved and respected by the students he transported to and from Commack High School and Sawmill Intermediate School," school officials said in a district statement.

Wickard, 69, was crossing Veterans Memorial Highway when he was struck by a 1998 Dodge Neon at the intersection of 5th Avenue at approximately 6:05 a.m. Monday. He was pronounced dead at the scene by a physician assistant from the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.

"Wayne was also a valued member of the Commack community. Given the sensitivity of this loss, our school counselors, social workers,  and psychologists will be reaching out to the parents of our students assigned to his bus routes, and our support team will provide counseling as needed," the district's statement said.

pbug56 January 29, 2014 at 09:41 PM
If reports are correct, he may have been killed trying to cross the highway to get to work from parking on the other side due to a lack of space for drivers to park near where they pick up their buses to drive back to Commack for their daily runs. That would make a sad death even harder to accept!

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