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.