The Obit For Tim Carroll

Crash victim was former Lincoln middle school principal

By Zach Pluhacek
Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

A former principal at Lincoln's Park Middle School was one of six victims of fatal crashes in Nebraska over the weekend.

Tim Carroll, 53, spent 22 years with Lincoln Public Schools, eight as principal at Park. He received a national Milken Educator Award in 1999 before resigning in 2002.

Early Sunday, Carroll drove his car into a ditch near Northwest 48th Street and West Huntington Avenue, then sped off as a witness tried to keep him at the scene, Lincoln Police Capt. Jim Davidsaver said after the crash. Minutes later, witnesses saw his car swerving about a mile north of the ditch before hitting a traffic light pole near West Knight Drive.

Police say they suspect alcohol played a role in the crash, but blood test results won't be available for weeks.

Rescue workers took Carroll to BryanLGH Medical Center West after the crash, where he later died. His funeral services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Grace United Methodist Church, 2640 R St.

He leaves behind a wife, a teenage daughter and a large extended family that includes three brothers, a sister and a mother who loved to watch her son play baseball.

Her son Tim grew up a pitcher, Mary Carroll of Denver remembered Monday night. She's a sports fan and says it was "fantastic" watching her boy play.

"There's quite a few memories. He was a beautiful person."

Tim Carroll was born in Denver and grew up in a Navy family that "lived out of suitcases," Mary Carroll said. He moved to Lincoln to attend college and play baseball at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

He spent three years as a professional baseball player for the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox farm team and later played for the semi-pro Beatrice Bruins.

He started his educational career at Lefler in 1981, working as athletic director for several years. He was promoted to associate principal there before being chosen to run Park Middle School in 1994. In 1999, he won the Milken award, considered one of the most prestigious given to teachers and administrators in the United States.

Three years later, Carroll was asked to resign and surrendered his certificate amid allegations of sexual harassment. Still, many at Park remember him in a positive light.

"Clearly, we're saddened at the loss of Tim," current Park Principal Ryan Zabawa said Monday.

After his resignation, Carroll worked at US Bank in Lincoln until 2009.

"He was very much loved and he's definitely missed, and this was really a shock," Mary Carroll said.