Former Saanich Braves forward, Dayton Clarke, was tragically struck and killed by a vehicle in Eugene, Oregon where he had been playing hockey for the Oregon Ducks.
According to Eugene Police Department, on May 13th, 21-year-old Clarke was found deceased in the middle of a roadway around 3:54 a.m. — the vehicle that struck him fled from the scene.
Police say shortly after they began their investigation, a 30-year-old man returned to the scene in the delivery truck that was involved in the collision and from that point forward, he cooperated with police.
Clarke had played on the Saanich Braves in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL) from 2017 to 2021 when he was traded to the Kerry Park Islanders. From there he continued his hockey ambitions in other junior hockey leagues throughout Canada.
He eventually would be taken on as a player for the University of Oregon’s hockey team while he studied at the institution.
The University of Oregon said in a social media post that, “He was energetic and full of joy. He was a very good hockey player and a great teammate.”
Victoria is mourning the great loss to its hockey community as well. His former team, now named Saanich Predators, posted a tribute to Clarke as well as the Victoria Grizzlies and the VIJHL itself.
A GoFundMe has now been launched to help pay for the funeral costs as well as moving Clarke’s body back home to Victoria for the service.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts we share the tragic news of the passing of our friend, teammate, wonderful son and brother Dayton Clarke,” said Craig Thornton, who started the fundraiser.
“The Clarke family, 29 teammates and countless friends and family, along with the entire Hockey community near and far lost a funny, energetic, charismatic and caring young man this past Friday night.”
So far, the GoFundMe has garnered over $12,000 on its way to a goal of $40,000.
“We love you Clarkey, Rest in Peace forever in God’s arms #18,” Thornton concluded.