An elementary school teacher was struck and killed by a dislodged, 200-pound manhole cover while driving on I-93 south in Boston on Friday morning.
Caitlin Clavette, an art teacher in Milton, was on her way to school when the tragic accident happened.
Clavette was currently working at three elementary schools in town, including Glover School, Collicot School and Cunningham Elementary School. She was a triathlete and was beloved by her students.
“She always had a smile and lots of encouragement for others,” said Anne Traer of the Wheelworks Multisport Triathlon Team.
The accident occurred around 7:50 a.m. near the O’Neill Tunnel in Boston.
According to Massachusetts State Police, a manhole cover that normally rests in the left lane of I-93 became dislodged and hit the windshield of the car. After impact, the vehicle continued southbound in the left lane of I-93 before hitting the wall on the left shoulder in the area of East Berkeley Street and coming to a stop.
“This is a terrible loss for our community,” the school district said in a statement. “Caitlin’s death is a tragic loss, not only for our faculty and staff, but also for the students and families whose lives she has touched over the past four years.”
Parents and guardians are invited to attend a meeting Saturday at the Glover School on how to help children deal with Clavette’s death. It will take place between 11 a.m. and noon, and parents are asked not to bring their children.
“Our sympathy goes out to the family of the victim involved in this horrific incident this morning,” a statement from the MassDOT read today. “This tragedy is leading us to take several steps immediately out of an abundance of caution.
MassDOT crews, including welders, joined Massachusetts State Police Friday and Saturday to examine all travel lane highway infrastructure on the metropolitan highway system in Boston to make sure the hardware is seated properly. This hardware includes manhole covers, grates, and covers for electrical panels.
The equipment was last inspected on June 12, 2014.
State police are also investigating.