On Sept. 15, at approximately 12:25 p.m., a small plane crashed at Columbia Elementary School. School and District staff members and emergency response teams acted swiftly and effectively in light of a very tragic incident.
Three Columbia staff members were standing just a short distance from the site and they each immediately divided; one going to the pilot, one to call 911 and one to clear the playground and get the children inside. We are saddened that this accident killed the pilot and his dog. We are fortunate that the situation was not worse, as students were on the playground. The plane landed just feet and inches away from the building on the side away from the students.
The District crisis response team was at the school shortly after the accident to supplement the efforts of the school’s psychologist. They were also on site today to continue working with students and staff members. The District has also offered some counseling support to Columbia parents and neighbors who feel they should talk with someone about what occurred. Those wishing to speak with a counselor may call Jordan School District at 801-567-8100 and a counselor will call them back.
In an e-mail to District employees, Superintendent Patrice Johnson had this to say, “Yesterday our colleagues at Columbia Elementary School went through a very tragic experience, but did so with one focus in their minds—to ensure the safety of our students and staff. I have been so impressed with their ability to do all the perfect things to keep our students safe in a very imperfect situation. Both school and District personnel responded expediently and in a very thoughtful manner, keeping the best interest of the children and their parents of the utmost importance in their minds. On behalf of the Board of Education and administration, may I express my sincere and heartfelt appreciation to the Columbia ES staff and District emergency personnel for the exemplary manner in which you carried out your duties during yesterday’s incident.”