Central Square elementary school principal killed; police investigating

Late Hastings-Mallory Elementary School Principal Lawrence Wink Jr.

BALDWINSVILLE — Police are investigating a tragic incident that this week claimed the life of a “beloved” Oswego County elementary school principal.

Lawrence “Larry” Wink Jr., 48, served as headmaster of Hastings-Mallory Elementary School in the Central Square Central School District for more than a decade before his death Monday.

According to the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, a man later identified to be Wink sustained a “traumatic injury” at approximately 7:10 a.m. on Nov. 18 after being struck by a garbage truck in Baldwinsville.

Wink’s death shocked the Central Square and Oswego County educational communities with immediate outpouring of grief and support.

“Words cannot express the loss that (our district) is feeling tonight with the sudden passing of beloved Hastings-Mallory Elementary School Principal Larry Wink,” said Central Square District Superintendent Thomas Colabufo in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers go to his family tonight and throughout the days, months and years ahead.”

District officials announced Tuesday the elementary school would be closed on Friday to allow for attendance of services.

A native of Syracuse, Wink was the son of Lawrence and Carol Wink and received his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Potsdam and a master’s degree from George Mason University in Virginia, according to obituary details. He was an “avid SU and Dallas Cowboys sports fan” and “enjoyed vacationing every summer in Saratoga and especially loved hosting family gatherings.”

In a statement Monday afternoon, Onondaga County Sheriff Eugene Conway’s office provided more details on the circumstances surrounding Wink’s untimely death.

“Deputies investigating the accident report that a rubbish removal truck from Syracuse Haulers Waste Removal Inc., was backing down Aspens Springs Drive when it struck a pedestrian who was crossing the road,” the sheriff’s office statement said. “The pedestrian, a man in his 40s, sustained a traumatic injury and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.”

Officials from the Baldwinsville Police Department, Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office Accident Investigation Team and New York State Department of Transportation were all on scene, and the investigation is ongoing, police said.

Wink is survived by his wife, Catherine, and daughter, Emily. Arrangements are in care of the Falardeau Funeral Home of Baldwinsville.

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