Community mourns death of Salem teacher who leaves behind infant; husband recently died from COVID complications

Local News

LEXINGTON TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – Students and staff at Salem City Schools are mourning the loss of one of their teachers, Kera Leskovec, who died Tuesday in a car accident.

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Leskovec, 32, of Atwater, Ohio, was killed when the vehicle she was driving collided head-on with a vehicle driven by Jonathan Walter, 28, of Alliance, near the intersection of State Route 183 and Price Street NE in Lexington Township.

Walter was also killed. The vehicle he was driving had traveled left of center, hitting Lemasters-Leskovec’s vehicle, causing it to catch on fire, according to Highway Patrol.

Leskovec was on her way to school when the crash happened.

Katie Mahon struggles to find words as she mourns the loss of her college roommate. The two of them lived together at Mount Union.

“I couldn’t breathe. She was not only a friend she was a sister I never had,” Mahon said. “I just miss my best friend. I want her back.”

Mahon said Leskovec’s 31-year-old husband Kevin passed away in August from complications of COVID-19.

“Losing him, I don’t know how she did it. She was strong for her daughter. That’s what kept her going, and throughout it, I kept telling her, ‘You’re the strongest woman I know.’ I still say that,” Mahon said.

The couple’s 6-month-old daughter was not in the car at the time of the crash. She was dropped off just moments before at her grandmother’s house.

“I just immediately thought of her daughter and was her daughter OK, luckily she is,” Mahon said.

As family and friends grieve the loss of Leskovec, their thoughts are with her daughter, who now faces life without her mother or father.

In a statement on the Salem City Schools’ webpage and Facebook page, Superintendent Sean Kirkland wrote that Leskovec was a teacher at the junior/senior high school.

“Please keep her family in your thoughts as they grieve and process the untimely death of their beloved daughter just months after losing Kevin, Kera’s husband, to COVID-19. I find it hard to even fathom the grief and despair that her family is confronted with,” Kirkland stated.

Counselors are available at the Salem schools for anyone wishing to talk.

The crash remains under investigation. Police say both drivers were wearing seat belts.

Friends of Kera Leskovec set up an online fundraiser to help with funeral arrangements as well as a way to support the little girl.

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