Milford Central Academy Mourns Death of Principal, Daughter - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Milford Central Academy Mourns Death of Principal, Daughter

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MILFORD, De. - At the Milford Central Academy, it was an emotional day, as the school community mourned a deadly car accident over the weekend. The accident took the life of Tricia Martin, the principal of the school, as well as her 10-year old daughter. 

The accident happened at approximately 10:40 Friday evening on Baratt's Chapel Road in Frederica, according to police. She was driving west on that road when her car went off the roadway, hitting a telephone box, fence and embankment. Martin was flown to Christiana Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Her daughter, Taryn was in critical condition at A-I Dupont Hospital for less than 24 hours before passing away early Sunday morning. 

As the students returned to school Monday, the memory of their beloved principal remained. Superintendent Phyllis Kohel said that the wounds were still very raw. 

"It's difficult to walk into the school and look at that office right now," she said fighting off tears. "But I mean - as teachers, as professionals, our main concern has to be our students." 

The school had a "crisis team" inside the building to help the students, teachers, and faculty to deal with the emotional strain. They also brought in the assistant principals from all their academic buildings to help out if teachers needed to step out of the classroom at any point. 

WBOC caught up with 12-year old Maya Chandler dropping off flowers at a memorial by the principal's parking spot Monday morning. She never got the chance to ask Martin her favorite color, but said she hoped the yellow and pink ones in her hands would bring the victims peace. 

Investigators of the crash said that the daughter got out of the car after the accident, but was hit by a vehicle once out of the car. Sylvia Henderson, from Milford Central Academy said that the daughter and the mother were both kind-hearted people. Saturday morning, hours after the crash, she was expecting to go to the gym with Martin, like they did every week. 

"I just talked to her Friday night," she said. "So it's just very hard. Somber time. And out hearts are just bleeding for Taryn and Tric'."

Pained by the loss, Henderson said she found comfort in Martin's famous expression: "Rock it out."

"If Trish were here right now," she recalled. "She would say 'what are you sitting around for. Let's just go rock it out. Let's go... That's Trish."      

Monday night, students started piling into the building for a band concert. Those students were given the option to cancel the performance because of the events, but chose to proceed as planned as tribute for their beloved principal. 
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