Community remembers Dayton man as fatal crash investigation continues

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 6:47 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — The Harrisonburg Police Department is continuing to investigate a fatal crash over the weekend that killed two people at the intersection of South Main Street and South Avenue.

According to Harrisonburg Police, on Saturday, a 2020 Yamaha motorcycle hit a person in the crosswalk. The motorcycle was driven by Jeremy Baugher, 28, of Dayton. Maylea Beasley, 18, of Virginia Beach was identified as the pedestrian.

Police are looking at several pieces of videos that were recorded before the crash happened that showed Baugher traveling at a higher rate of speed than other nearby traffic.

Officers said they could not determine just how fast the bike was speeding based on the video.

The video also shows that South Main Street, the road Baugher was traveling on, had a green light. Police said this would mean the do not cross sign should have been active during the incident.

Police said another video shows Beasley with a group of others at the intersection, and who all showed hesitation in crossing the road, as if they were looking for oncoming traffic.

According to Virginia law, the driver of any vehicle traveling at an unlawful speed shall forfeit any right-of-way which he might otherwise have under this article.

Police are still unsure if alcohol was involved with either person. The community is still continuing to heal after the loss of two young lives.

Friends and family members of Baugher have put together a GoFundMe page to help Baugher’s family with funeral arrangements. Laura Copley, a friend of Baugher, said she knew him for many years and to hear about the tragedy is unbelievable.

“So many of his friends had a text message from him saying, hey let’s hang out, or I’ll see you tomorrow, or what are you up to man,” Copley said. “My brother has a text, my partner has one, and so everyone is left hanging in a way.”

Copley said Baugher was a kind spirit who cared deeply about the Valley. She said he was the type of person who would never let you walk away without saying hello.

“Jeremy was somebody that loved his community, he supported Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, he supported local businesses,” Copley said. “Then he went home to the country, into Dayton and lived quietly there taking care of his grandfather, taking care of his family.”

Thursday night, at 7:30 p.m., a vigil will be held on the quad at James Madison University, and on Friday, a private memorial service will be held for Baugher.

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