School supt., dog fatally struck by student rushing to school; classes canceled

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The community of Robbinsville, N.J. is in mourning after its superintendent of schools was struck and killed.

Schools will remain closed Wednesday as the community of Robbinsville, N.J. mourns the death of its superintendent of schools, Dr. Steven Mayer.

Mayer was struck and killed Tuesday morning by a 17-year-old driver, a student at the local high school.

Wave after wave of candles and flowers poured in Tuesday night at the Foxmoor Pavilion as some 500 people gathered to remember Mayer and his contributions to their community.

PHOTOS: Vigil for Dr. Steven Mayer

"When you feel weak, when you feel sad, I want you to think about Steve's smile," school board president Matt O'Grady told the crowd, many of whom were students. "Think about words of wisdom... encouragement that he shared with you along the way,"

Mayer, 52, was out jogging with his dog, Dutch, near his home at 6:15 a.m. Tuesday when both were struck and killed on Robbinsville Edinburg Road near Anderson Lane in Robbinsville Township.

Sources tell Action News the accident happened as the driver, a female student at Robbinsville High School, was heading to school early for a class trip.

PHOTOS: School superintendent struck, killed

The driver was taken to a crisis center after the accident happened.

Investigators plan to subpoena records to see if she was texting or talking on a cell phone at the time.

"There are two families that are involved in this tragedy: both Dr. Mayer's and a student's family, and we are praying for all of them," said Robbinsville Mayor David Fried.

No summonses have been issued and no charges have been filed in the case. The investigation is said to be ongoing.

All schools in the Robbinsville school district were closed Tuesday and remained closed Wednesday as the community struggled to come to terms with the loss.

RAW VIDEO: Pedestrian struck in Robbinsville
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A pedestrian was struck and killed Tuesday morning in Robbinsville Twp., N.J.

For some students and former students, the loss was emotionally tough.

"He was a great guy to be around with, and that's all I have to say," said former student Alex Buzgo.

"He always saw the children first, and as you can tell by this crowd that is here, he had so much love for this community. It's a loss for our community," said Councilwoman Chris Ciaccio.

Mayer lived in Robbinsville with his wife, a teacher in the Robbinsville schools, and their children.

He was a principal in the nearby West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District before he was hired as the superintendent in Robbinsville.

"Steve was an incredible part of our community," said Mayor Fried. "He was our superintendent, he was a coach, he lived here, and he was a friend.... I think the whole community needs a time to mourn. I'm trying right now to be strong as mayor, but I intend to go home shortly and have a good cry for my friend."

"In honor of Dr. Mayer, we will find our way back to normal, as appropriately as possible," said Robbinsville School Board President Matthew O'Grady. "Steve always put the students' needs first, and we will continue that as we work through this devastating loss."

Grief counselors were brought to the high school to speak with staff and students.

"Whether he was making an event better, or just seeing him around, he was always such a nice, loving man. He will never be forgotten," said student Jeremy Wall.

Mayer's passing was announced Tuesday morning in an email message from the school board to parents:

With a heavy heart, we share with you devastating news that our beloved Dr. Steven Mayer, Superintendent of Schools passed away this morning from a tragic accident.
All Robbinsville Schools will be closed today, Tuesday, April 19, 2016.
Crisis Counseling will be available at Robbinsville High School in the commons area this afternoon. More details on the specific timing will be forthcoming.
As a community, we ask that you keep the Mayer Family in your thoughts and prayers.
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