Prague district doesn't identify teacher, allegations
PRAGUE — A longtime teacher who died Friday morning when his pickup collided with a tractor-trailer was under investigation, officials reported.
Billy J. Smith, 66, died at the scene of the collision about 10:30 a.m. on State Highway 99 and Moccasin Trail Road, just south of Prague in Pottawatomie County, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.
In a statement Friday night, Prague Public Schools reported the death of a middle school teacher but didn't identify the teacher by name.
"We were notified last night, and shocked to learn that the teacher was being investigated by law enforcement regarding allegations that did not occur on any property of Prague Public Schools, nor during school hours," the statement read. "Notwithstanding this death, Prague Public Schools is working with law enforcement closely. Due to this being a personnel issue with law enforcement involved, the school can not provide any additional information."
Some criticized the statement, which was posted on the school district's Facebook page.
"Shame on Prague schools!!! We loved Bill Smith," read one response.
"Statement on death??? This is NOT a statement on death, just a statement on investigation," read another response. "Not very professional if you ask me."
Neither Prague Public Schools Superintendent Vallery Feltman nor Prague Police Chief John Fluitt returned multiple phone calls seeking comment Monday.
Smith was a history teacher at Prague Middle School, according to the school's website. He was a teacher for Prague Public Schools for 32 years and was the district's Teacher of the Year in 2000 and 2017, according to his obituary. He also taught drivers' education.
Smith was driving a 2008 GMC Sierra southbound when his pickup went left of center into the northbound lane of a 2018 Freightliner 113 driven by Anthony Broussard Jr., 58, of Arlington, Texas, the patrol reported.
Broussard attempted to avoid the collision by moving to the shoulder, but Smith's pickup struck the driver's-side corner of the tractor-trailer, the patrol reported. Troopers said the big rig crossed the center line, left the roadway and came to rest in a ditch. Broussard was not injured, the patrol said.
Smith died of multiple blunt force injuries suffered in the collision, said Amy Elliott, a spokeswoman for the state medical examiner's office. The death was ruled an accident, Elliott said.