Beloved Bayonne teacher/softball coach, 5-year-old daughter killed in Turnpike crash

JERSEY CITY — A three-car accident near the Exit 14C toll plaza in Jersey City on Monday left a high school teacher and his 5-year-old daughter dead in the wreckage.
The accident took place at 3:20 p.m. Monday afternoon.
The vehicle that was carrying County Prep teacher Tim O’Donnell and his daughter Bridget, known as Bridie, was struck from behind and pushed into the oncoming traffic, where it was struck by a medi-van.
O’Donnell and his wife, Pam, have another daughter, Ali, who is 6.
O’Donnell was a prominent high school softball coach during his career and was the only softball coach in history to be named Coach of the Year by the Reporter at two different schools. O’Donnell first earned the honor in 2007 when he was coaching at County Prep, which has since eliminated all interscholastic sports. O’Donnell moved on and was named Coach of the Year as well at Hudson Catholic in 2012, where he remained for four seasons, getting that program going in the right direction before resigning in 2014.
O’Donnell recently became involved with the Bayonne Little League softball program and was starting a league for girls ages 6 through 8.
O’Donnell was mourned by many who knew him.
“Timmy was a great guy,” said Terry Matthews, O’Donnell’s former athletic director during his days at Hudson Catholic. “He was accomplished when he got here, having been successful before. It was a great fit when he came in. He knew how to handle the girls. He always did a little extra for the girls outside of softball. He treated his teams fairly and did a great job. He was a great example of what a coach should be. We reaped the benefits of Timmy starting our program and he was a valued member of our family.”
Funeral arrangements were still pending as of this writing. Check for updates.
State Police initially reported the accident as a two-car crash in what is a heavily traversed section leading to and from the Holland Tunnel. The accident resulted in a backup in the westbound side of the highway. A van operated by McCabe Ambulance service out of Bayonne was also struck by one of the vehicles involved in the accident. Photo by Victor M. Rodriguez — Jim Hague and Al Sullivan

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