RIDGELAND, S.C. (WSAV) – A Ridgeland Elementary School teacher was killed in a car crash on his way to work Tuesday.

A longtime educator, William “Bill” Lacombe was 59. He taught for 27 years, according to his classroom profile, and spent the last three at Ridgeland Elementary School teaching fifth grade.

“The news of his death found us unprepared,” a statement from the Jasper County School District read. “The professional relationship and personal friendship we had with Mr. Lacombe have been a source of enrichment and enjoyment to all of us.”

“Lacombe was held in the highest regard by our employees and many others with whom he worked with,” the statement continued. “He set an example that will continue to be an inspiration to us all.”

According to the Jasper County Coroner’s Office, Lacombe’s vehicle was struck head-on by another driving on Highway 462 and Lowcountry Drive. He died on the scene.

Officials said grief counselors will be available for Jasper County students and staff members.