A growing memorial is taking shape outside of Milford Central Academy, after the school’s beloved principal and her daughter were both killed in a car accident Friday night.
Delaware State Police said 42-year-old Tricia Martin of Camden died at a hospital following the crash on Barratts Chapel Road, just east of McGinnis Pond Road near Frederica.
Police don’t know why, but said Martin’s Acura MDX veered to the other side of the road and collided with a telephone box and fence before turning on its side back in the roadway.
While Martin was still inside the car, her daughter Taryn got out to ask for help from another driver who was stopped near their SUV.
That’s when, police say, Richard Triola’s GMC Yukon struck the Acura, ejecting Martin. Daughter Taryn, who was on the road, was hit by one of the vehicles, and later succumbed to her injuries, according to the Milford Beacon.
Richard Triola, who was properly restrained, was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Milford School District Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Kohel said grief counselors were on hand at the school throughout the day and will remain at the academy through the week.
Dr. Kohel described Martin as a very caring, positive person who made people feel very comfortable.
“Anyone who would have met her, would have come away from any conversation thinking that they had just made a new friend,” Kohel said.
Kohel said the majority of the students heard the news over the weekend through social media.
“We tried to be as honest as we could with all of our students while not making their emotions run any higher than they already were,” Kohel said, adding it was tough day back at school not only for the students, but also for the teachers and staff in the district.
Martin had been principal of the academy for the past three years, but worked in the district for many years before that.
The funeral for Tricia and Taryn Martin is this weekend.