WESTMINSTER, Md. -
A Howard County Public Schools guidance counselor died Friday morning after crashing into a truck with his motorcycle, Maryland State Police confirmed.
Troopers were dispatched to Route 97 at Route 32 in Westminster, Maryland, at about 7 a.m. for a fatal motorcycle crash.
Rodney James Williams Jr, 46, was driving his 2007 Kawasaki KLR650 southbound on Route 97 (New Washington Road) as a Ford F-150 was beginning to turn left from the northbound lane.
Williams struck the passenger side door.
Williams was taken to Carroll Hospital Center were here was pronounced dead.
An investigation into who was at fault for the accident is underway, according to Maryland State Police. Witnesses are urged to contact Maryland State Police at 410-386-3000.
Williams worked as a guidance counselor at Glenelg High School in Howard County for 18 years. In a leter sent home to parents after school, Principal Karl Schindler said Williams was a mentor to students with last names beginning with I - Mi. Williams also served as advisor to the Class of 2013, and coached and sponsored sports teams and clubs. (Read the letter in full below)
News of his death quickly spread across Twitter with former students offering their condolences.
You were such a great man, God just wanted to meet you earlier than expected. Your impact will forever be in Glenelg's history. Rest easy.— Brett (@brettkellaher) June 20, 2014
RIP Mr. Williams.. My favorite counselor at Glenelg you were the man, and really helped me make some lifelong decisions. You'll be missed— Matt Livak (@mlivak32) June 20, 2014
Rest in peace Mr. Williams. You did so much for Glenelg High School and you will be missed so much.— Jess Dietz (@OfficialJessD) June 20, 2014
So blessed to be part of the Glenelg community, honestly we may be isolated from the rest of the county but that's what makes us closer— Tope (@TopeAbu27) June 20, 2014
I just hope Mr William knows how much of an impact he had on students. It's hard to imagine Glenelg without him— Derry MacCheese (@DerryMacD) June 20, 2014
Williams made real changes. His impact was huge. There will never be another like him. How much he cared went beyond the walls of Glenelg.— Lizzie Dove (@Lizzie_Dove) June 20, 2014
I hope his family can see all these tweets and see how much he was really appreciated at Glenelg— brit (@its_brittaniiii) June 20, 2014
RIP to one of the greatest people at Glenelg. You will be missed Mr. Williams ❤️— Amy F (@amy_fray) June 20, 2014
Rest in peace to one special man! You touched every Glenelg student Mr. Williams. You will be greatly missed💗— Emily Zito (@emmzitooo) June 20, 2014
Mr. Williams was the first teacher at Glenelg to see who I was and motivate me to do something with my abilities. I'm honestly in shock.— Lizzie Dove (@Lizzie_Dove) June 20, 2014
Letter from principal Karl Schindler:
Dear GHS Parents, Students & Community:
I have some sad news to share with you. Rodney Williams, one of our guidance counselors at Glenelg High School, died this morning as a result of injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident. Mr. Williams’ death is a tremendous loss for our community.
He had worked at Glenelg High School for the past 18 years. Mr. Williams was the counselor for students with the last names beginning with I through Mi. He has been a treasured member of our Student Services Department, was class advisor for the Class of 2013, and has coached and sponsored many sports teams, clubs, and activities. Most recently he coached our Allied Soccer team. He was incredibly upbeat and lived life to the fullest.
Students were not informed of Mr. Williams’ death at school today, as the police were still working to reach Mr. Williams’ family. We received permission to share the news with our staff after dismissal. As you can imagine, this sudden and unexpected news has been very difficult for our staff members. We ask for your understanding and patience during this difficult time, as we will be working to support our staff and close out the school year.
In today’s fast-paced world, information travels quickly by social media. You or your child may have already heard this sad news. Other families may only be learning of Mr. Williams’ death through this letter. People react to this type of news in different ways. Sometimes, adolescents will say everything is fine, but they may show other signs of distress. This might include sleep disturbances, temporary loss of appetite, anxiety, or fears about personal health and safety. Some suggestions for dealing with any concerns your child may have include:
• Listen to your child’s thoughts and feelings – Let your child know that you are available to answer any questions. You may not have all the answers to their questions, but they will benefit from your attention. Provide straightforward, accurate information in response to questions.
• Encourage your child to express his/her feelings – Talk about your own feelings. Don’t be afraid to cry in his or her presence and share your own loss experiences. It is okay to cry together and hold each other.
• Talk to your child about your personal value system around death and loss – Discuss your family’s beliefs about death. Your child may be particularly anxious about the sudden realization that death ultimately happens to everyone and that death can come without warning.
• Support your child and be patient with his/her feelings in responding to the loss – Spend extra time to be with your child discussing this news and processing it.
If your child needs additional support, consider contacting your faith-based community, trusted family and friends, or local resources such as Grassroots Crisis Hotline (410-531-6677) and Gilchrist Grief Services (Pat Schoenleber - 443-849-8251). In addition, therapists at The Family Center (410-531-5087; Alison Dunton, Shep Jeffreys, Janet Bradley, and Erin Stoll) are aware of
Mr. Williams’ death and are accepting referrals for counseling.
We do not have any information on funeral services at this time. Please join us in keeping the Williams family in your thoughts and prayers in the days and weeks ahead as they face this difficult time.
Karl Schindler, Principal, GHS