Principal remembers 12-year-old killed in Franklin car crash

Posted at 7:05 PM, Oct 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-29 10:27:59-04

Franklin, Va. – Classmates of a 12-year-old girl in Franklin are remembering her, after she was killed in a car crash over the weekend.

Tonashea Sledge was a 7th grader at J.P. King Jr. Middle School.

As students went to school Monday, they were given ribbons in the schools’ colors to wear in her memory.  A graffiti wall was also set up for them to write messages on and grief counselors were available.

Many at the school have known her for years, including her principal Lisa Francis.

“She was a breath of fresh air,” Francis said, “Never saw her without a smile.”

Francis has known the 12-year-old since she was in kindergarten.  She says Tonashea never let a day go by without stopping at her office to give her a hug.

The realization that she’ll longer be at the school is still sinking in.

The car crash happened Saturday morning around 11:30.

Police say her dad, Tony Sledge, was driving the car with her and five other people inside, when he lost control and flipped on Route 258.

Tonashea died at the scene.  Everyone else had to be taken to the hospital.

According to police, Sledge had been drinking and was speeding at the time. Charges are pending while the case is reviewed by the Commonwealth Attorney.