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Fourth-grader, dad killed in wreck

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

A 9-year-old Belville Elementary School student and his father, an Iraq war veteran, were killed Friday in a motorcycle wreck on U.S. 21. The wreck happened north of Elkin. They were on their way to the mountains.

Leland resident Sgt. Bradley David Martin, 30, who served with the N.C. National Guard in Iraq, and his son, Coby Lee Martin, 9, were riding a motorcycle north on U.S. 21 Friday morning when they came around a curve, crossed the center line and collided with a tractor trailer. The tractor trailer was driven by Denny Lee Teague, 51, of North Wilkesboro. It was traveling south, according to a report from the N.C. Highway Patrol.

Bradley and Coby Martin were thrown from the motorcycle. Bradley died at the scene. A helicopter took Coby to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, where he died.

Belville Elementary School Principal

Joyce Beatty said Tuesday she and other staff members phoned teachers over the weekend when they learned of the wreck. On Monday, members of the school system’s crisis response team were on hand to provide assistance to students, particularly Coby’s classmates.

“We were prepared for the children Monday morning,” Beatty said.

“They talked to the children and were there for the teachers,” she added. “It was a positive day because the staff really pulled together and tried to bring normalcy to the school.”

Coby’s brother is in second grade at Belville, and Beatty said staff and faculty will be looking out for him.

Beatty was asked to talk about Coby at the funeral and, while preparing what to say, she solicited phrases from his teachers that summed up the kind of student he was.

They ranged from “gift from God” and “a ray of sunshine,” to “fun to teach” and “a redheaded Van Gogh.”

The teachers recalled his generous spirit and willingness to learn as well as his “sunny smile.”