FIT grad injured in Indialantic vehicle crash dies

Donal 'Donnie' Martin, 22, had graduated this spring with a bachelor's degree.

Fatal car accident along A1A in Indialantic Wednesday.
Fatal car accident along A1A in Indialantic Wednesday. (CRAIG RUBADOUX / FLORIDA TODAY)

A vehicle crash on State Road A1A in Indialantic last week has claimed a second life.

Local 6 News partner Florida Today said Donal "Donnie" Martin, 22, who had graduated from Florida Tech in May with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, died from injuries suffered in the crash last week.

Those who know Martin describe him as a fun-loving, well-liked man on campus and the Phi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) Fraternity that was liked by all who knew him.

"You want a guy like Donnie around, because he takes everything and makes it that much more fun and memorable just for being there," said Christopher Penta, a friend and Florida Tech alum.

"I never heard anyone say a bad word about him," said Ed Pula, chapter adviser to the fraternity.

Martin, who came to Florida Tech from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, was very active in his fraternity, serving for a year as social chairman, according to Pula.

"He was probably one of the best social chairs we ever had," said Ricky Barbera, a close friend of Martin's.

Barbera also added that he loved sports and participated in some for the fraternity, noting that he excelled in basketball and dodge-ball in particular.

But perhaps most of all, those who knew him say that Martin was someone who was always there when you needed him, adding that he'd be the guy who always seemed to cheer people up.

"Donnie would be the first one that texted you saying, "that's it, we're going out," he says of Martin's actions when his friends were down.

And though Martin enjoyed socializing, he prioritized his school work at FIT, Barbera says.

"He was just a well-rounded person overall," added Barbera. "He could have fun, but he never neglected his studies."

Anatasia Hirsch, 19, a Holy Trinity graduate, was also killed in the crash.

Two others in the vehicle, 21-year-old Brooks Maxwell of Vero Beach, the driver of a Subaru the four had been riding in, and 21-year-old James Pappas were injured and taken to a local hospital. No updates have been given on their conditions.

Martin's family has seen overwhelming support. As of Friday, over $12,000 had been raised for the family.

Those who wish to donate can do so by visiting gofundme.com/DonnieMartin.

"There are no words to describe how much love and positive vibes we're just sending their way," Barbera said.

A public celebration of life will be at 1 p.m. Sunday at Florida Tech's All Faiths Center. His parents, according to Cat McGuire-Carnley with Greek Life at Florida Tech, have asked that those who attend bring their favorite photo of Martin. A reception at the Phi Kappa Alpha Fraternity house is planned after the event.

Martin's impact on his fraternity was such that PIKE members from decades ago have expressed their condolences and are expected to attend the celebration on Sunday.

"The response has been overwhelming and it's been from across generations, men that have tried to reach out to us and express their condolences from 1967, 1968, reach out and try to get a hold of the family," said Pula.

"We've got guys from the early '70s coming into town for this memorial," added Pula.

A candlelight vigil in Martin's memory will be at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9 on campus.

Martin's organs will also be donated as part of an organ donor program and in his honor in the fall and spring semester and likely beyond.

"We're going to do that in Donnie's honor from here on out every semester," added McGuire-Carnley.

Florida Tech also has counseling help available to students on campus at its Counseling and Psychological Services building for students who need it, she added.