Mead Middle School teacher killed in Missouri traffic accident

A longtime Wichita teacher died in a traffic accident Monday in southwest Missouri.

Beth W. Adamson, 50, died after a vehicle driven by her husband failed to stop at a stop sign and was hit broadside by a pickup on Missouri 43 about 10 miles north of Joplin, Mo., according to a Missouri State Highway Patrol accident report. The accident occurred at 11:45 a.m. Monday, according to the report.

Adamson was a social studies teacher at Mead Middle School in Wichita. She had worked for the district for 25 years, spending most of that time as a fourth-grade teacher at Mueller Elementary School, district spokeswoman Wendy Johnson said Tuesday.

She moved to Mead in August 2012.

Johnson said the district contacted Mead teachers Monday through the school’s calling chain to tell them about the accident. Students were informed during their first-hour classes Tuesday, she said.

The district crisis team was at the school first thing Tuesday “and will be there throughout the day as long as necessary to help students and colleagues cope with this terrible loss,” Johnson said in an e-mail.

According to Mead principal Toby Martin, Adamson is survived by her husband, John, and two daughters, Emily and Elaine.

Adamson, who served on the school’s leadership team, was “an amazing woman,” Martin said in a statement. “She was genuine, caring and dedicated. She was one of the first staff members to arrive each day. Her thoughts were always of others and not herself.

“She handled students firmly and with respect, and in turn they had great respect for her,” she said. “She was a quiet force who could handle a tough situation in a calm manner. We have a void that will be difficult to fill.”

According to the accident report, the driver of the pickup, Gary W. Colson, 63, of Joplin, sustained serious injuries and was taken to Freeman West Hospital in Joplin. John Adamson sustained minor injuries.