Frederickson teacher dies in Canyon Road car wreck

A beloved Frederickson Elementary School teacher died Friday after his car crashed along Canyon Road.

Technology teacher Steven McDonald was identified as the victim by Bethel School District spokeswoman Krista Carlson.

On Saturday, the school district was notifying staff members and students’ families of McDonald’s death.

“It’s definitely a loss that’s going to be felt very deeply in that school,” Carlson said.

McDonald taught computing across all grade levels. He taught at the school since its opening in 2009, said Frederickson principal Ellen Eddy on Saturday.

“He knew every kid in the school and they knew him,” Eddy said.

The accident occurred at about 3:30 p.m., shortly after school was dismissed. McDonald’s vehicle was the only one involved in the accident on Canyon Road at 160th Street East near the Pierce County Skills Center, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. He was the only person in the vehicle, which hit a concrete structure.

On Friday McDonald had danced in a staff talent show to the delight of students, Eddy said. Later, he high-fived the kids as they boarded buses.

“He told one of the teachers, ‘This has been the best day of my life.’ That gives us a lot of comfort,” Eddy said.

Counselors will be at the school Monday to help students and staff, Carlson said. Students will be encouraged to make cards and talk about McDonald, Eddy said.

On Saturday staff gathered at the school to comfort each other, Eddy said.

Prior to teaching at Frederickson McDonald had taught at Camas Prairie Elementary, Eddy said.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office said the cause of death was pending an autopsy.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, @crsailor