LAND 'O LAKES, Fla. - The Crews Lake Middle School sticker on his bumper says it all: Adam Kennedy, the principal who worked at the Pasco county school for nearly a decade, would do anything for his students.
"He was Crews Lake through and through. Just a good guy. Smart. Devoted. It's a huge loss for the district," said Pasco County Schools spokesperson Linda Cobbe.
Kennedy was supposed to be home with his wife on Friday, celebrating her birthday. When duty called, however, he agreed to come in on his day off to meet with the parent of one of his students.
"That just shows how dedicated he is, was to his school," said Cobbe.
But Kennedy didn't make it to the school Friday morning. Just a few miles from campus on State Road 52, Florida Highway Patrol says Kennedy collided with the back of a truck, killing the father of two.
Witnesses say the truck, which was carrying a large load of timber, was waiting to turn into the Crossroads Sawmill lumber yard when Kennedy's truck slammed into the back of it. The impact broke several large logs, some went through Kennedy's windshield before his truck flipped and landed on the sawmill's chain link fence.
"I said lord have mercy and when I ran up to the truck I said, 'hey are you alright?' and he didn't say anything but he was still breathing loud," said Percy Austin, who was helped the timber truck pull into the gate when Kennedy crash into it.
Austin says the driver of the lumber truck helped turn off Kennedy's engine and Austin called 911.
"About 15 minutes after that he stopped breathing," said Austin.
Kennedy died at the scene.
Teachers and students at Crews Lake Middle were stunned by the news. In a show of support for his wife, who is also a Pasco County school teacher, and his two elementary school-aged kids, students made sympathy cards for Principal Kennedy's family.
"It's really hard to talk about because he was such a nice guy and he was doing such a great job here," Cobbe said through tears.
Troopers say the lumber truck driver was following proper protocol at the time of the crash and is not at fault. The logs on his truck were flagged and had a marker light on them as well.