Salisbury University students are mourning following the death of their peer Tyler Birch, 19.
According to an email sent by SU Student Affairs, Birch passed as a result of a car accident in the Ocean City area on Tuesday, Feb. 5.
Described as “passionate and driven in his studies,” Birch was a 2017 graduate of Stephen Decatur High School where he earned academic honors. As a sophomore at SU, Birch was studying and planned to pursue a career in engineering.
Long-time friend and peer of Birch, sophomore Grace Burton, explained that Birch’s passing has had an impact on their close-knit friend group.
Burton described the friend group as a “second family” to her, and explained that without Birch, things haven’t felt the same, but she’s grateful they have each other to lean on during this difficult time.
Burton had nothing but good things to say about Birch and explained that although shy at first, Birch’s laugh could liven up any room.
“Tyler was a really good friend,” Burton said. “He was a very creative person, he loved writing stories, he loved finding out new things and exploring now topics.”
To honor Birch’s memory, the university held a celebration of life Sunday at the Ocean Pines Church.
Burton and several other friends spoke during the eulogy, and Burton feels that that’s something Tyler would have wanted.
“Our whole friend group went up. There was, like, eight of us ... and we all went up and said something and we were all crying, but it just shows how much we love each other,” Burton said.
“It’s just like there’s a hole where something’s missing in our friend group.”
The Birch family requests that in place of flowers, a donation in his memory may be sent to Worcester County Humane Society, P.O. Box 48, Berlin, Md. 21811. Letters of condolence may be sent via: www.burbagefuneralhome.com.
By CAROLINE STREETT
Gull Life editor
Featured photo: MD Coast Dispatch image.