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Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Dec. 5, 2023

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Vancouver School of Arts and Academics teacher dies in cycling crash

Adam Joy ‘was very loved,’ taught at Vancouver schools since 2000

By , Columbian staff writer

Adam Joy, a science teacher at Vancouver School of Arts and Academics, died over the weekend in a bicycle crash on Highway 221 in Polk County, Ore.

A letter sent home to families Monday morning from VSAA Principal Lori Rotherham described Joy as a warm and involved teacher.

“He was very loved by our students and loved his students in return. We will miss Mr. Joy deeply, and our thoughts are with his family and friends,” Rotherham said.

Joy, 55, had worked in Vancouver Public Schools since August 2000. Before coming to VSAA six years ago, Joy had worked as a math and science teacher at Discovery Middle School for 17 years.

Rotherham said the district is arranging for additional counseling to be available to students in a separate support room throughout this week, including the School Mobilization Assistance Response Team made up of social workers, psychologists and nurses, to help navigate conversations about grief and loss with students and staff.

The school said Monday it would relay any information about funeral services or a celebration of life in the coming days as it learns more.

According to an Oregon State Police news release, troopers responded shortly before 11:30 a.m. Saturday to a vehicle versus bicycle crash near Milepost 11½ on the highway. The preliminary investigation found a 2021 Ford F-350, driven by Robert Weeks, 47, of McMinnville, Ore., was traveling south when it attempted to pass a bicyclist, identified as Joy, traveling in the same direction.

Joy of Portland fell over into the lane as the pickup passed and was run over. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the State Patrol. Weeks stayed at the scene and cooperated with the investigation, the news release states.

Editor’s note: The time of the crash was originally reported incorrectly. The time has since been corrected.

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