School bus driver killed in suspected murder-for-hire incident remembered as kind, caring

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A Columbus City Schools bus driver is being remembered as a kind man after he was found stabbed to death outside his home on the city’s west side.

A former colleague of John Clinedinst says the 54-year-old was a great guy who would, “give you the shirt off his back.” According to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Clinedinst was fatally stabbed outside his home as he was leaving for work early Tuesday morning.

“I was stunned. I didn’t think it was true. I didn’t think it could be him,” said Jeremy Jay, who worked with Clinedinst as a bus driver for years. “He
was the first guy that would say hi to you.”

Three people have been arrested in connection with the murder. Two are accused of stabbing and killing Clinedinst. The third is accused of felony conspiracy for hiring the other two to murder the school bus driver.

“I can’t imagine anybody wanting to hurt him,” said Jay.

According to a spokesperson for Columbus City Schools, Clinedinst had been a bus driver since 2014. The following statement was sent out:

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Clinedinst family during this difficult time. Bus drivers such as Mr. Clinedinst do more than just transport students safely to and from school. They are the first to greet students as they head to school each day and extend a positive school climate beyond the classroom. It’s the power of those short morning interactions that can set the tone for a child’s day.”

Jay works in a different district now but says he had been keeping in touch with Clinedinst.

“He just knew how to make us smile,” Jay said. “He was family. We were all family there at CCS and he was one of our family.”

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