Student dies in weekend crash

Funeral services for Brad Dugan, 24, set for today

POSTED AT 12:00 AM ON Sep. 20, 2006 


Funeral services for senior Brad Dugan, 24, of Bloomington, who was killed Sunday morning in a motorcycle crash, are being held at 2 p.m. today at the Day Funeral Home, 4150 E. Third St.

Dugan, an avid biker, called his friends early Sunday morning, asking them to take a late-night ride on their motorcycles with him. He had finished his shift at a local retirement community, eaten pizza back at the house with his roommates and was eager to go riding.

By about 4 a.m., Dugan's ride turned fatal when his vehicle crashed along State Road 446, just north of South Swartz Road, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's Department, which received a 911 call at 4:10 a.m.

Junior Rachel Gill, a passenger on another motorcycle riding with Dugan, said they started driving around at about 3 a.m. and had separated when Dugan's bike, which was faster, passed them and drove ahead. Sometime later, Dugan's bike veered left off the center line as it was traveling northbound, Monroe County Sheriff's Department Deputy Nathan Peach said. When the bike hit the grass on the opposite side of the road, Dugan and his passenger were thrown from it.

"They were well over the speed limit," Peach said, adding that the motorcycle traveled 550 feet after it left the road.

Peach said sophomore Alexandria Willhardt, the passenger on Dugan's motorcycle, was able to flag down a vehicle and was given a ride to a nearby apartment complex, where she then called 911.

"The only thing she does remember is that she was on the bike that morning," Peach said.

At this point Willhardt is the only witness to the accident, he said.

Though Dugan's motorcycle remained intact, there was a large debris field caused in part from the bike hitting a picket fence along the road. Peach said Dugan likely died from head trauma. One helmet was found at the scene but was not on anyone, he said. The Monroe County coroner could not be reached for comment.

Willhardt, 18, sustained broken wrists, a broken ankle and multiple lacerations to her face, Peach said. She was listed in stable condition at Bloomington Hospital on Tuesday night.

Friends and family of Dugan mourned the loss of a good friend and son as they gathered at his viewing Tuesday.

"It came as a big surprise," Glen Inman, a co-worker of Dugan's, said. "We were all in shock."

One of Dugan's riding buddies, T.J. Hall, an IU alumnus, described him as a fun-loving, happy-go-lucky guy.

"Life was one big fun game to him," Hall said. "He just enjoyed life."

Inman said Dugan, who was a dining room supervisor and five-year employee at the Meadowood Retirement Community, was an easy-going guy who could always make people laugh and was very patient with the elderly.

"I always looked forward to coming in and hearing his stories," Gill added. "He was awesome to work with, and I'm going to miss him terribly."

For Dugan's roommates, the loss of their constant source of humor is especially hard.

"There's not a whole lot I can do today without it reminding me of him," said Christopher Quackenbrush, who graduated in 2004.

He said he and Dugan's girlfriends always teased the two of them, saying they would end up buying houses next to each other so they could grow old together.

Quackenbrush said Dugan was always the one who could drag him and his friends out for a night of fun, even if they thought they were too tired. He would constantly make people laugh with crazy stories and silly comments, he said.

"He didn't always do the right thing, but he did the Brad thing, and that's what made him special," Quackenbrush said.

"He always brought a smile to everybody's face," said Nick Campbell, a 2003 IU graduate who was another roommate of Dugan's, adding that Dugan always said, "not a problem," no matter what situation was thrown his way.

Dugan was also always there for his friends and was close with his family.

"He was like a brother to me," said his roommate Scott Colglazier, who graduated from IU in 2004.

Quackenbrush recounted a story from his 21st birthday. He said Dugan had sat him down and told him that he was the first one there and that he would be the last one to leave, "to make sure I'd be OK," Quackenbrush said.

"I was always happy to be with Brad," Quackenbrush said. "I plan on leaving an open spot in my wedding for him."

Dugan was planning to graduate from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs in December and looking into a career in management, his friends said.


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