WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) — A school community in Wilmington is in mourning after the death of its beloved principal. He died Monday night from injuries he suffered in a motorcycle crash on Old Baltimore Pike in Newark.
The school district has crisis counselors available for students and staff and community are just beginning to come to terms that their principal is gone.READ MORE: 2 Montgomery County School Districts To Require Masks Again Due To County's COVID-19 Level
“It’s unimaginable, it’s almost unreal,” Lisa Brewington, a friend and colleague, said.
Shock and disbelief are settling in that Dr. Terrance Newton, the principal of Warner Elementary School, was killed in a motorcycle crash.
“The past couple of days have been really difficult,” Brewington said. “It’s really unreal that we’re at this point now where we’ve lost him.”
The 47-year-old Newton was thrown from his motorcycle Friday night in Newark.
Delaware state police say he was passing a vehicle on Old Baltimore Pike when his tire hit the concrete median, causing him to lose control.
“It hurts because he was a personal family friend,” Dallicia Rogers said. “Oh boy.”
Newton, or “Newt,” as he was known to many, graduated from Delaware State University and was the principal at Warner Elementary School for three years. Among his accomplishments were helping to raise test scores and grades, implementing uniforms.
He also established a barber shop in the school so under-privileged students could get a haircut. He cut the students’ hair himself.5-Year-Old Boy Injured In North Philadelphia Shooting, Police Say
“Dr. Newt took it upon himself to help the kids out by cutting their hair, making them feel good about themselves,” Rogers said.
Eyewitness News spoke with Dorrell Green, the superintendent of Red Clay School District. He was also a personal friend of Newton’s.
“Education was more than a job or profession for us so related on a lot of those levels,” Green said. “Going through the pandemic and having someone who you can rely on and count on, to bounce ideas off of and vice versa for him, I think it was something that you never really expected. But I’m thankful that God put him in my life, me and his, and I think together we were embarking on some great things and again, his passing won’t be in vain and we’ll continue to carry that legacy forward.”
As the grieving process begins, so does the search for a replacement.
It’s an impossible task, Green says.
“For those that know Dr. Newt, especially the staff and families here at Warner, he would say I need to be there for my babies so we’re here for his babies today and we’ll continue to be here,” Green said.
Condolences have poured in for Newton from Wilmington to Washington.
On Tuesday morning, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester released a statement on his passing as the community mourns.
Officials say crisis support for students will continue at Warner Elementary for students and parents.MORE NEWS: EXCLUSIVE: Teen Pilot Who Landed Plane On Bridge In Ocean City Shares How He Survived New Mexico Plane Crash
Funeral arrangements haven’t yet been announced.