Teacher Killed in Crash Months After Husband Died of COVID, Leaving Behind 6-Month-Old Daughter

"As sad as we are for her loss of life, we are saddened that their daughter Avalee will have to navigate life without her loving parents," GoFundMe organizers wrote

A 6-month-old baby in Ohio will grow up without her parents following her mother's death this week and her father's death over the summer.

Kera Leskovec, a beloved Salem City Schools teacher, was killed on Tuesday while she was driving to work, Superintendent Sean Kirkland wrote in a statement.

"It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I must inform you of the passing of Mrs. Kera Leskovec, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident on her way to work this morning," Kirkland wrote. "Kera was an extremely valued Jr/Sr High teacher and individual that will be greatly missed by her colleagues and students alike."

Kera's death occurred just months after her husband Kevin died of COVID-19, according to a GoFundMe page created to raise money for funeral expenses, as well as continued care for their daughter Avalee.

"I find it hard to even fathom the grief and despair that her family is confronted with," Kirkland continued. "I ask that we all please take a moment today to spread some kindness and love in memory of our dear friend."

Kera Leskovec
Kera and Kevin Leskovec with daughter Avalee. Facebook

The accident took place in Lexington Township around 6:40 a.m. on Tuesday morning, after Kera had dropped her daughter off at her mother's house, according to the Canton Repository.

Kera, 32, was hit head-on by a second vehicle that traveled into the left lane and quickly caught on fire, Ohio State Highway Patrol said in a news release obtained by PEOPLE. Both drivers were wearing their seatbelts.

Both Leskovec and the other driver — identified as Jonathan Walter, 28 — were killed in the crash.

The Stark County Coroner's Office told the outlet that both drivers suffered multiple traumatic injuries, the Canton Repository reported. A cause of death has not yet been identified for either driver.

Kera Leskovec
Kera and Kevin Leskovec. Facebook

In August, Kera shared a loving tribute to her husband — who died at the age of 31 on Aug. 20, when their daughter was just 4 months old, according to his obituary.

"I have truly been blessed to call Kevin a friend for 13 years and a husband for 6 years. Words can't express how much I will miss him," she wrote on Facebook.

"He left me with the greatest gift of all, sweet baby Avalee. She will grow up hearing amazing stories of her Dad, and I have no doubt she will know how much he loved her. Kevin, I will love you forever and always," she continued. "You will be so missed!"

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In a message posted on Kera's memorial GoFundMe page, organizers expressed their love for the couple's daughter.

"As sad as we are for her loss of life, we are saddened that their daughter Avalee will have to navigate life without her loving parents," read a message on the online fundraiser, which has raised over $27,000 as of Thursday morning.

Salem High School Principal Todd McLaughlin remembered Kera as a "wonderful" teacher — who will "be greatly missed by her colleagues and students alike."

"Mrs. Leskovec was a beloved teacher here. The kids really, really, really liked her," McLaughlin told the Canton Repository.

"It's very tragic, extremely tragic," he added.

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