MONTGOMERY - The normally boisterous hallways at Barr-Reeve Junior Senior High School were subdued on Monday. Students and staff, boys and girls were filled with shock and grief, because of the death of Brandon Kyle Wagler.
Wagler, 18, a former star basketball and baseball player and co-valedictorian this spring, died Sunday morning in a traffic accident on CR 1200-E near Boggs Lake.
The Daviess County Sheriff's Office reports Wagler was driving north on the roadway when the car he was operating hydroplaned on the wet pavement while passing another car. Deputies say the car left the roadway and struck a tree.
Daviess County Coroner Laura Petty pronounced him dead at the scene. A passenger in the car, Brandon's brother, Jacob Wagler, 12, was taken to Daviess Community Hospital where he was treated for cuts and bruises and later released.
"It has hit the students really hard," said Barr-Reave Junior-Senior High School Principal Jeff Doyle. "He was well liked by the students and even though he had graduated, he was still very active in the community."
Wagler was an all-conference basketball player at Barr-Reeve his senior year, the only year he played on the varsity full time. "I was sitting on the porch, just thinking about the rain," said Barr-Reeve basketball coach Bryan Hughes. "Then I heard the sirens going through town and a little later I got a call that Brandon had died. It hit me hard. It's still hard to take. We spent a lot of time together."
Even though Brandon had graduated in the spring, his death still cast a long shadow of sorrow over the school. He has a brother and sister among the 368 students at the Junior-Senior High. He also has a sister in elementary school.
"The kids are hurting because they knew Brandon," said Doyle. "They know his sisters and brother. They are grieving because they are grieving the loss of a friend or as a friend of the family."