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Central Unified leader killed in crash was ‘beloved by every employee,’ district says

Steinbeck Elementary third grader Giania Travis happily picks out a coat with help of Kelly Porterfield, Central Unified School District Chief Business Officer, during the annual Foundation of Central Schools Coats for Kids program, Wednesday morning, November 20. 2013.
Steinbeck Elementary third grader Giania Travis happily picks out a coat with help of Kelly Porterfield, Central Unified School District Chief Business Officer, during the annual Foundation of Central Schools Coats for Kids program, Wednesday morning, November 20. 2013. Fresno Bee Staff Photo

Central Unified is mourning the loss of its assistant superintendent and chief business officer, who was killed Tuesday in a crash on Highway 168.

Kelley Porterfield, 51, was riding his motorcycle near Shaver Lake when he collided with a minivan, according to a news release from the California Highway Patrol.

The crash happened around 5:40 p.m. when a 25-year-old driver of a Dodge Caravan stopped and attempted a U-turn into the westbound lane of Highway 168 at Shaver Lake Forest Road.

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Kelly Porterfield. Central Unified School District

The 25-year-old, identified as Aaron Harper of North Hollywood, accelerated into the path of Porterfield, who had no time the avoid a collision and was thrown into the side of the van, the CHP reported.

Emergency personnel gave medical aid to Porterfield, but he died at the scene.

Central Unified said Porterfield was “beloved by every employee” in the district. Porterfield worked for the district for seven years.

Under his leadership, the district modernized several facilities and began plans for an elementary school. Porterfield previously worked for Madera Unified School District.

According to the district, Porterfield was married and was a father to four children.

The crash remains under investigation, the CHP reported.

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