By Sara Hollabaugh, Arts & Entertainment Editor
The tragic death of a beloved friend invites shared memories and a petition to keep drunk drivers off the road.
Brandon Sega ’13 was killed Dec. 31, 2015 in a two-car accident.
Jason Lonneman ’14 and Rebecca Muhl ’13 were also in the car with Sega, which left Lonneman seriously injured.
According to NBC4, the graduates were hit by Daniel Merz, who has had alcohol convictions prior to the accident on New Year’s Eve.
In an email addressed to the Ohio Wesleyan community, President Rock Jones spoke highly of Sega.
“Brandon was an exceptional young man who will be remembered for his artistic talents, his success as a varsity baseball player and his involvement with Sigma Phi Epsilon,” Jones said.
OWU’s baseball coach, Tyler Mott, had countless things to say about Sega as well.
“I can’t say enough good things about him,” Mott said. “I got to know him his senior year in high school. We recruited him and he was a joy.”
“[I knew him] his last year in high school, his years in college and the last two years,” Mott said. “He was one of the most hardworking players that I’ve been around. [He was] talented, not just with baseball, but in so many other areas. Well spoken, bright and artistic.”
Mott said the athletic department and baseball team will honor Sega this spring.
“We’re going have a celebration where we honor him during one of our home games,” Mott said.
“There will also be a permanent sign put in the outfield for him and his family.”
In the wake of Sega’s death, Mott has spoken to the current baseball team about his former player.
“We just had our first team meeting of the spring and we talked about [Brandon],” Mott said. “And we brought out one of the game hats. Our guys have to earn their hats and we talked about what they resemble, including the players that came before them.”
Sega’s life has been celebrated over many social media platforms and talked about among his former peers, teammates and friends.
Friend and Sig Ep brother Ibrahim Santana ’15 said the only way to describe Sega is that he was the light of [the brothers’] lives and every life that he was a part of.
“I rarely saw him angry or upset; he didn’t let little things get to him,” Santana said. “He really lived his life to the fullest.”
Charles Cooper ’15 played baseball with Sega and is also a brother in the Sig Ep fraternity.
“I first met Brandon in high school,” Cooper said. “He was always texting me, wondering how my recruiting process was going. He even hosted me for my overnight even though he was a sophomore and the recruits usually stayed with freshmen.”
Cooper said he has many fond memories of Sega and their time on the baseball team together at OWU.
“The earliest memories I have of him were at our morning practices for baseball [my freshman year],” Cooper said. “He would throw the ball as hard as he could during our drills, especially when he was throwing to me or other freshmen. He thought it was funny seeing how scared we were to catch the ball when it was coming in that fast.”
Cooper said that Sega was really just a great person to be around.
“There was never a dull moment with him because he loved to talk about everything,” Cooper said. “He was always genuinely interested in what you were doing. It was clear that everybody he met or talked to was fond of him as there was an estimated 3,000 people at his wake.”
Cooper added that he hopes people remember Sega for his positive spirit and unparalleled work ethic.
In response to Merz’ alleged drunk driving, Cooper and Michael Jeffers are petitioning the Ohio State Senate, where they are calling for tough punishment for drinking and driving.
“I feel like it is appropriate for how dangerous the crime is,” Cooper said. “As we’ve seen, it can take the life of an incredible human being.”
To view the petition, go here.