60-year-old killed in moped accident was close to achieving dream

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A 60-year-old man who was killed in a moped accident Monday was set to graduate from Indiana University South Bend in December.

Jerry Sailor was double majoring in theater and mass communications.

Police say he was on a moped, stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of Sample and Lincolnway East Monday.

According to a witness, the moped suddenly jerked forward, but before Sailor could back up, he was struck by a semi.

Emergency crews transported him to a local hospital, but Sailor died as a result of severe blunt force trauma to the head.

The news was heartbreaking for many of his classmates at IUSB, who say Sailor was well-loved.

"He was a character, that's for sure," said classmate Megan Jerrils. "He lit up any room he entered. He always had a joke and a smile on his face and never let anything get him down. And, that was truly infectious."

Sailor was heavily-involved in IUSB's theater department. He held several roles over the past few years.

And, whether he was playing the lead or lending a supporting role in the ensemble, classmates say he approached each show with the same passion and drive.

"His whole life was theater, in any way, shape, or form," Jerrils said. "He was an actor's actor. And, if you didn't know him on stage, you knew him off. He did everything."

Sailor was also well-known for his impressive Elvis impersonations. Friends and family say he sang and danced just like the king.

Many were inspired by his positive attitude and decision to pursue a Bachelor's degree in acting, despite being much older than the average students.

"He followed his dreams, it didn't matter to him what age he was, it didn't matter where life had taken him before," Jerrils said. "He decided that he wanted to do it, so he did. And, that's such an inspiration for me to use my time wisely because he proved it's never too late to follow your dreams."

During Tuesday's IUSB graduation ceremony, Sailor's name was read along with the rest of the graduates.

Friends say he was very proud of his achievements and was looking forward to getting his diploma in December.

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