FORT SCOTT — Paola Middle School teacher Adam Bancroft was one of two drivers killed in a head-on collision in the early morning hours of Friday, June 21, near Fort Scott.

According to a Kansas Highway Patrol report, 29-year-old Brenton Handly of Nevada, Mo., was driving a 2004 Mercury Sable west on U.S. 54 Highway just east of Fort Scott at 5:30 a.m. Friday, June 21, when he attempted to pass and hit a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Bancroft, 48, of Fort Scott, who was traveling eastbound.

Both drivers, who were wearing seat belts, were pronounced dead at the scene. There were no passengers in either vehicle, according to the report.

Bancroft was hired by Paola USD 368 in 2017 to serve as a Level 3 teacher at Paola Middle School.

In the profile he provided when he joined the district, he said he is from Mound City and currently lives in Fort Scott with his wife, Susan, and kids Bailie, Gunnar, Kynleah and Allie.

The Paola Community Garden Club is hosting a memorial for Bancroft from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 26, at the garden on Industrial Park Drive. Flowers will be gathered to make an arrangement to display at his services, which will be Friday, June 28, in Mound City.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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