A tragic accident Saturday morning claimed the life of longtime local educator Kenneth Gammelgard and injured three of his family members. Ken and his Wife Ellen were on a 10 day trip to Kyrgyzstan to visit their son Peter and daughter-in-law Katie who are teaching in that region. All four of them were in the taxi on the way to the airport for Ken and Ellen’s trip home when the taxi was broadsided by a suspected drunk driver. Family members say Ken was killed in the crash, as was the driver of the other vehicle.
Ellen and Peter received moderate injuries and Katie suffered a fractured vertebrae and severe concussion. She was flown Medivac to a medical center in Dubai where she is undergoing surgery. Her brother says she is expected to recover. Kenneth Gammelgard for many years was the principal and superintendent of Clear Creek Elementary school and, current principal, Scott Lay says Ken offered him his first teaching job and became a mentor.
“Very positive, always very upbeat. A lot of the things that I got that I use in my everyday administrator job now, I learned a lot of it from him. Just the way he operated and his outlook on life.”
Ken Gammelgard retired from education in 2009 but worked last year at Lyman Gilmore filling in as needed. His wife Ellen is the owner of Meadow Farm Yarn shop in Nevada City and was also a teacher.. Monetary donations to help with expenses of flight and medical care, and condolences for the family can be sent to Sierra Presbyterian church. The family has also set up a facebook page to update friends.