Bluffton HS athletic director critically injured in accident

Steve Thompson, Athletic Director, Bluffton High School. Courtesy of Bluffton-Harrison MSD.
Photo courtesty the Bluffton News-Banner
Photo courtesty the Bluffton News-Banner


BLUFFTON, Ind. (WANE) –  The Bluffton High School athletic director was taken to the hospital after an accident in the school’s parking lot Thursday.

Bluffton Police Department Chief Nathan Huss said officers were called to the Bluffton school shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday.  Chief Huss said teachers had an in-service day Thursday and a group of teachers, including Athletic Director Steve Thompson, was walking back to the high school after a meeting at the middle school.

Huss said Thompson tossed his athletic bag on the hood of Bluffton High School Principal Steve Baker’s car.  Baker was driving back from that same meeting.

Baker then swerved and Thompson stepped toward the car.

The Bluffton News-Banner reported that the car clipped Thompson’s legs and sent him backwards, which caused his head to hit the pavement.

Steve Baker, Principal, Bluffton High School. Courtesy of Bluffton-Harrison MSD.
Steve Baker, Principal, Bluffton High School. Courtesy of Bluffton-Harrison MSD.

Wells County EMS rushed Thompson to a Fort Wayne hospital with a severe head injury. The Bluffton News-Banner reported Thompson had two surgeries to relieve pressure on his brain. Thompson was last listed in critical condition Friday afternoon.

Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District released the following statement on the incident:

Bluffton-Harrison M.S.D. is saddened by the events that occurred on Thursday, August 7, 2014, and we all are hoping for the best possible outcome. On Thursday, August 7, Steve Thompson, an employee of Bluffton-Harrison M.S.D., was injured in a tragic incident that occurred on the district’s campus. Mr. Thompson was struck by a personal vehicle driven by Steve Baker, also an employee of Bluffton-Harrison M.S.D., in the school district’s parking lot. As a result of the incident, Mr. Thompson was transported to Lutheran Hospital for treatment and is still under the care of medical professionals. The district cannot comment on the details of Mr. Thompson’s medical condition out of respect and privacy for the family. The district cannot comment on the specific details of the incident at this time as the incident is still under investigation by police. The school district does have a request in to the police department for a full report of the incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in this tragic incident.

Bluffton-Harrison MSD Superintendent Wayne Barker told NewsChannel 15 all of them have been friends for 20 years. The principal and the victim have known each other for 30 years. Barker said the principal was a father figure to the victim when he was in high school.

Police have not commented if any charges will be filed. Barker doesn’t intend on taking disciplinary measures against the principal.

“I don’t think anyone can do anything to provide consequences to Mr. Baker on this greater than what he’s already put on himself already,” Barker said.

School for Bluffton-Harrison MSD starts Monday and Barker said other staff members can help out with Athletic Department responsibilities.

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