Midlands elementary school principal dies in car wreck

A Columbia elementary school principal died Thursday afternoon in a car wreck on Hayward Brockington Road in northern Richland County, authorities said.

Jason M. Koepke, 41, was the principal of Forest Heights Elementary School, Richland District One Superintendent Craig Witherspoon said.

“We extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Koepke’s family, and we ask everyone to keep his family and the students and staff at Forest Heights in your thoughts and prayers,” Witherspoon said.

Koepke, of Union, had been principal at Forest Heights for three years. He previously was an assistant principal at St. Andrews Middle School.

“The district’s Crisis Team has been activated to provide support and counseling to any students and staff who may need assistance in dealing with the news of Mr. Koepke’s death,” Witherspoon said.

Details about the wreck were unavailable Friday afternoon.