By writer to www.news-gazette.com
MAHOMET — David Powell was a faithful husband and father, a gifted engineer and a fun-loving good friend who beloved driving bicycles.
That zeal put him in a spot Friday that finally ended his life however resulted in him hopefully saving one other with a kidney donation.
Mr. Powell, 46, died at Carle Basis Hospital on Monday afternoon from blunt pressure accidents he acquired when a semi truck driver hit him from behind Friday morning on Illinois 47 north of Mahomet. He leaves a spouse, Jen, kids Evan, 10, and Ruby, 7, his mother and father, and a brother.
“He had one-quarter of a mile on 47 to get to that nation highway,” stated his longtime good friend and fellow bicyclist, Brian McKay of Champaign. “He purposely prevented highways due to Matt Wilhelm.”
Wilhelm, 25, of Champaign, was killed in September 2006 when he was struck from behind by a younger girl distracted by her cellphone as he rode on the shoulder of Illinois 130 east of Urbana.
That crash occurred not removed from Urbana’s Stone Creek subdivision, the place Mr. Powell was dwelling on the time.
Each Wilhelm and Mr. Powell had been thought of exceptionally secure bicyclists.
“While you discover a wheel like Dave’s to trip on, you’re feeling very secure,” stated McKay, who stated the loss of life of his good friend of greater than 30 years in that method was a shock. “Dave was a really, very, very expert rider and a really secure rider.”
“We guessed not too way back that we’ve ridden over 26,000 miles collectively over the course of the years. I beloved driving on Dave’s wheel. He was a rock-solid rider, only a nice rider,” stated McKay, who met Mr. Powell in 1989.
He was additionally good counsel, stated McKay, who owns Artwork Mart with spouse Courtney.
“He at all times had a extremely sound opinion. He at all times thought issues by means of. I used him as a sounding board for plenty of issues, as my profession with Artwork Mart moved alongside. You’ll be able to’t spend that a lot time collectively and never speak about every little thing in your life,” McKay stated.
‘At all times comfortable’
Mr. Powell grew up within the Maynard Lake subdivision in west Champaign. He was about 13 when Rick Wilberg, then 11, moved in throughout the road.
“We acquired alongside nice and frolicked from then on. We had been roommates for a number of years,” stated Wilberg of Savoy, an actual property agent.
He beloved his neighbor’s character.
“He was improbable, at all times comfortable, at all times had a smile on his face and introduced nice power to any room,” he stated.
Though Wilberg was not into biking, he knew properly his good friend’s love of it and his tendency to trip alone for hours, anyplace from 15 to 100 miles at a stretch.
Previously a Champaign police officer for 12 years, Wilberg dealt with his share of significant bicycle accidents, although none had been deadly. On Friday, after studying of the accident, he picked up Mr. Powell’s father and drove him to the hospital, the place associates and a few relations needed to wait exterior for information due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
McKay met his good friend, who was a yr forward of him in class, throughout his first week at Centennial Excessive.
“He’s very, very good, very humorous, very observant. We simply hit it off instantly,” he stated of his fellow marching band member.
“He actually was athletic. He simply wasn’t into group sports activities.”
In 1991, Mr. Powell entered the College of Illinois, incomes an engineering diploma. It was there that he met his future spouse.
After graduating from the UI, he started the one career-related job he would have at Urbana’s Flex-N-Gate, a number one producer of car bumpers.
“He labored straight with (founder/proprietor) Shahid Khan for a very long time,” stated McKay, who stated his good friend had been with the corporate about 23 years designing bumpers and hitches, largely for Toyota vans. “As Flex-N-Gate grew, his experience grew about all of the completely different sorts of makes and fashions.”
His work as a senior engineer required frequent journeys to Michigan, Canada, Japan, Mexico.
“Round 2018, he was touring loads for his work in Mexico and was gone and never driving with us,” stated biking good friend Jay Jimenez. “All we may ever speak about is, ‘Boy, we miss Dave.’”
“All the pieces was at all times higher with Dave round,” he stated.
Jimenez, of Champaign, lived in Stone Creek in Urbana as a neighbor to Mr. Powell a number of years again. He had been biking a pair years when he and Mr. Powell turned extra pleasant.
“Dave was one in every of these guys who at all times made you do stuff you didn’t wish to do, get out of your consolation zone. He would push me actually exhausting,” Jimenez recalled. “I might dread happening solo rides with him as a result of I knew I used to be going to return again in ache.
“Dave was form of an explorer. We used to trip highway bikes, then he acquired us into gravel biking. When he began doing it, it was not on anybody’s radar.”
Mr. Powell, McKay, Jimenez and three different associates accomplished a 120-mile gravel race in central Pennsylvania in October.
McKay added that Mr. Powell was devoted to the “Pedal the Trigger” trip in St. Louis to boost cash for most cancers analysis. McKay began doing that trip in 2013 when his personal son was recognized with leukemia and each he and Mr. Powell additionally rode in honor of their good friend, Clay Deval, a survivor of colon most cancers. Through the years, they and different associates raised greater than $20,000 for most cancers analysis, McKay stated.
When Mr. Powell wasn’t working or bicycling, he was house with Jen and the children, Jimenez stated, including that his good friend took a cross on among the lengthy fall weekend bike rides, preferring pumpkin patch visits along with his household.
“He was beneficiant with every little thing. He would provide the shirt off his again,” stated Jimenez, who now is aware of that with certainty.
Jimenez’s brother-in-law, Brian Moushon, 50, lives in Alabama and has coped with renal failure by means of dialysis for 4 years.
After happening a motorcycle trip Sunday to ponder his pal, Jimenez returned house to the information that Mr. Powell’s spouse was fascinated by directed donorship of his organs.
Pondering an “organ swap” may very well be labored out to maneuver Moushon up the recipient record, Jimenez contacted Jen Powell, who put him in contact with a transplant coordinator. On Monday, he discovered that his buddy and his brother-in-law “had been virtually a whole good match.”
Fewer than 24 hours after his good friend’s passing, Mr. Powell’s kidney had been transplanted into Moushon.
“The kidney is in place,” Jimenez stated Tuesday afternoon. “The subsequent 24 to 48 hours are going to be essential. It’s a hit thus far.”
Jimenez stated his good friend donated two kidneys, a liver and another organ tissue.
“He would have been thrilled,” Wilberg stated of Mr. Powell’s ahead gift-giving.
For Jimenez, the previous few days have been an emotional curler coaster, coping with his grief over the lack of his good friend, his lack of ability to collect with others to have a good time Mr. Powell’s life, and his exuberance over his brother-in-law’s prospects for a greater life.
“It’s going to make household dinners a bit of completely different,” Jimenez stated.
— to www.news-gazette.com