Croissant Park Elementary School Principal Jamie Maradiaga Dies Following Motorcycle Crash

Students and teachers at a Fort Lauderdale school were mourning the loss Tuesday of a principal who died after she was injured in a motorcycle crash over the weekend.

Jamie Maradiaga, principal at Croissant Park Elementary School, died from injuries suffered in the crash Saturday night in Collier County.

Broward County Public School officials said Maradiaga had been with the district for 25 years and had served as principal at Croissant Park since 2010.

"Ms. Maradiaga was beloved by those who knew her. Her radiant smile, beautiful personality and warm spirit will live on through her sons, her students in Broward County Public Schools and in every life that she touched," Broward Schools spokesperson Tracy Clark said in a statement. "She was a mentor to her students, teachers and staff, and known as a visionary leader."

According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, Maradiaga, 48, was riding a 2008 Harley Davidson being driven by 48-year-old James Hughes when they rounded a curve and ran off the road.

Hughes and Maradiaga were thrown from the motorcycle. Maradiaga was airlifted to Kendall Regional Hospital with head injuries and later died at the hospital. Hughes was taken to a hospital in Naples with minor injuries.

Neither were wearing helmets, according to the FHP report.

The district arranged for counseling services at the school for students, parents and employees. Assistant principal Michelle-Ann Allison is serving as the interim school leader.

"Ms. Maradiaga was an outstanding, dedicated and compassionate person and principal. The positive impact she made on her students and school cannot truly be measured," Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and the entire Croissant Park Elementary School community. She will be missed."

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