Amherst woman, 88, ID’d as victim in school van crash

  • First responders on the scene of a crash involving an Amherst school bus van and a pedestrian on West Street in Amherst near the entry road to Crocker Farm Elementary School Wednesday morning.  STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • This photo of Eva Fenner accompanied a December 1981 story about her gingerbread houses. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

For the Gazette
Published: 9/12/2019 12:28:33 PM

AMHERST — An 88-year-old Amherst woman has been identified as the victim in a fatal pedestrian accident Wednesday morning.

Eva Fenner, who lived at 188 West St., was struck by a school van exiting Crocker Farm Elementary School at approximately 11 a.m., according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

Three children on board the bus were safely returned to the school and were not injured.

The school, at 280 West St., is a short distance from Fenner’s home.

Amherst Police, Massachusetts State Police assigned to the DA’s office, the MSP Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section (CARS), and MSP Crime Scene Services are investigating. The chief medical examiner’s office will determine the cause of death.

A native of Germany, Fenner, who had lived at her Amherst home since 1964, taught recorder lessons for the town’s Leisure Services and Supplemental Education department in the 1980s. She worked as a scientific illustrator for the University of Massachusetts in the 1970s, including for a book on plant pathology written by a professor.

A 1981 Gazette article about Fenner described her creation of gingerbread houses, with the recorder students preparing for a recital enjoying the “nibbling house” she had created.

Recently, Fenner was a fixture in her neighborhood, often seen making her way up and down the street.

“She was a regular walker,” said Lillian Gordon, a West Street neighbor who saw her on the sidewalks or at the edge of the street, when she boarded or got off from the buses. “She took the bus everywhere.”

Scott Merzbach can be reached at

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


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