NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A popular retired educator from Norfolk Public Schools is dead after she was run over on the Outer Banks. A close friend said she learned over the weekend that Martha “Mike” Demontpellier of Norfolk had died on the beach at Rodanthe.
A press release from the Dare County Sheriff’s Office said a 70-year-old woman died after she was run over by a pickup truck from the Chicamacomico Fire Department around 2:30 Saturday afternoon. The release did not identify the woman, but said she died after CPR, and called her death an accident. No further details were available Monday afternoon.
Elementary school teacher Beth Curry says she met Demontpellier nearly 20 years ago.
“She did not seem her age. I’ve said on multiple occasions she was one of the coolest people I knew and the coolest friend that I had.”
Curry says she was shocked to hear of Demontpellier’s death.
“She was just so full of life. It’s so hard to imagine something so senseless happening to a close friend.”
The Sheriff’s Office says the death is under investigation and Curry says the family knows few details.
“Except it was just an accident. I’m don’t think at this point anybody is sure exactly what happened.”
Curry says Demontpellier was an ace history teacher and later administrator in the Norfolk school system, who would stay in the same Rodanthe cottage several times a year.
“She loved animals, and she had a dog Lulu who recently passed, and Lulu would always go to the beach with her.”
Demontpellier’s son gave Curry a statement to read from her family.
“The tragic loss of Martha Demontpellier, lovingly known to her friends as Mike, has left not a hole in our lives but a loss of light. She illuminated every room she entered and every life she touched. Although her light was taken from us far too soon, we take solace in knowing that she passed in her favorite place, with the wind in her hair and the salt on her skin.”
“She was alone on the beach,” Curry said. “It was her favorite place to be.”
A commenter posted on the Dare County Sheriff’s Facebook page that the truck was on the way to an ocean rescue when Demontpellier was run over. We’re working to confirm that, and will release any new details we get from the sheriff.