RIP: A Tragic Accident Claims Life Of A Brooklyn Assistant Principal

Elias “Eli” Smith with his children. Family photo.

A falling tree in Indiana killed a Brooklyn public school educator on March 27, 2021.

Elias “Eli” Smith, 40, was the vice-principal at the Math and Science Exploratory School, MS 447 in Downtown Brooklyn, and the father of two young children.

Mr. Smith was in Carmel, Indiana, visiting with his family over the spring break. He and his brother were sitting outside a fire pit around 10:30 pm on Saturday, according to Steve Wagner, Mr. Smith’s brother-in-law, when a sudden violent storm hit the town. As the brothers ran for cover, a tree fell on Eli, killing him on the spot.

“Eli was a loving husband, father, son, and brother. He was also a devoted educator, working as a public school teacher,” a statement from the family said. Lindsey Hutcherson Smith, Elis’ wife and also a public educator, is staying in Indiana with her children to recover from the loss.

The two public educators have been living in Brooklyn for the last 15 years. Eli grew up in Carmel, Indiana, and graduated from Carmel High School in 1998. He then went to Washington University in St. Louis to study economics and Pace University for his Master’s degree.

A GoFundme organized by Thomas Sokol on behalf of the family has raised more than $140,000 in the last couple of days.

“The Smith family is grateful for all of the support they have received from friends, neighbors, colleagues, students, and former students in Brooklyn, as well as the support from friends and family in Central Indiana,” said the brother-in-law.

Eli Smith is survived by his wife Lindsey and children Evie and Beau.

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Mukta Ahmad

Mukta Ahmad

Mukta Ahmad is a reporter at Bklyner. She is a senior at Brooklyn College, majoring in Journalism and Media Studies.

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