Zionsville Community School caretakers died in Tuesday’s accident


By Sophie Pappas

Mika Baird, 30, and Lesly Martinez, 31, were on their lunch break driving from work when their Ford Explorer crashed with a Chevy Prizm and led to their death.

On April 22, the women were pronounced dead at the scene of their crash at the intersection of Zionsville Road and 96th Street.

Zionsville Police Dept. Capt. Doug Gauthier said the right rear tire of the Ford Explorer flew off, causing the car to crash and then flip over. The tire was either missing lug nuts or the lug nuts were loose.

Riviera Daycare, where the women worked, is the facility that provides childcare for all Zionsville Community School Corporation teachers and administrators. It is located inside Zionsville Middle School.

According to Stonegate Elementary fourth-grade teacher, Jennifer Skura, both of these women were truly special ladies.

“Both teachers have left behind families with small children,” Skura said in a corporate-wide email on Wednesday. “All three of our kiddos were blessed to be taught by them. Anyone who can take a screaming two year old, hug them close to comfort, and not cringe at the noise is someone special!!  Mika did that for our Jack every morning this fall as he transitioned (not gracefully!) to school.  Lesly was equally as comforting and loving to the tiny babies she cared for every day.”

A Go Fund Me account has been set up online, to accept donations to help the women’s families. Skura said Baird was not covered by life insurance and her family is raising money to provide a proper funeral.

“We know many of you have had contact with these ladies over the years and may want to contribute to their funds,” Skura said.

After the funeral is paid for, any remaining funds will go towards Baird’s five year-old son.

Martinez was the mother of four school-aged children, and was the main provider for her family.

“Both of these women loved our children unconditionally each and every day and will be missed greatly,” said Stonegate Elementary teacher, Renee Beckner.

To donate to Lesly Martinez’ family fund: http://www.gofundme.com/8ltj24

To donate to Mika Baird’s family fund: http://www.gofundme.com/8kfwjk