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Posted on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 11 a.m.

Trumpeter in U-M Marching Band killed in crash on US-23

By Paula Gardner


Patrick Fleming with his trumpet.

From Facebook

The death of a University of Michigan trumpeter on Monday is "utterly devastating" to the 370-person marching band, officials said.

Patrick Fleming, a University of Michigan-Flint sophomore living in Ypsilanti, was killed Monday morning on US-23 near Fenton, according to a report from the Flint Journal.

Police said the 1994 Oldsmobile Bravada Fleming was driving struck the back of a vehicle that was in a construction zone backup in the northbound lanes of the highway near Owen Road.

His mother called band officials at about 1:30 Monday to tell them about his death, said John Pasquale, associate band director.

"It was a devastating shock," Pasquale said.

Fleming, a Pioneer High School graduate, was a dedicated band member who set his goal to march with U-M while studying at Pioneer, Pasquale said.

"He came to us and asked if students who aren't enrolled on the Ann Arbor campus ... could participate," Pasquale said. "... He was a fabulous trumpet player. He made the band, and spent two years with us."

Fleming studied at U-M's Flint campus and worked full-time at a retirement home, Pasquale said, while making time for the 90-minute daily band practices in Ann Arbor.

He also lived in Ypsilanti with his twin brother, Pasquale said.

"He was busy, for sure," Pasquale said, "with his academics and performance schedule, and trying to put himself through school."

Marching band members were told of the accident at the Monday afternoon practice, though about half of them had already heard the news, Pasquale said. Counselors attended the practice as well.

Band officials still don't know details about the crash, Pasquale said. They're also awaiting news of Fleming's memorial service.

In the meantime, they're pulling together plans to honor his memory.

"We will be honoring him in some way at the football game on Saturday," Pasquale said.

The loss already is felt among his bandmates, Pasquale said.

"Patrick was a wonderful person," he said.


Robert D. Mosley

Fri, Sep 30, 2011 : 4:15 a.m.

I am so heartbroken about this! This brother's short life has the values we all wish our young people to have. He has the values that we would like all people to have. There is the energy, love, dedication, discipline to pursue his dreams. There is the audacity to go and see if he could play trumpet in Ann Arbor while in high school and planning to go to UM-Flint; he works taking care of the old, so you know he had reverence for those older than him and he worked there full time in Flint; he lives in Ypsilanti, works in Flint, studies in Flint and spends 90 minutes a day in band in Ann Arbor. Wow! And, he loved Michigan, his family, and finally just life. Look at that smile! I will take this inspiring life with me and use this to inspire others. I may have never heard of this man unless this unfortunate catastrophe had taken place. I will at least honor this man (A true Michigan man by the way) by letting others know of this man and what we can do when we use our talent infused with a love of life and humanity.

Candis Hale

Thu, Sep 29, 2011 : 2:54 a.m.

Seeing postings on Facebook Monday I was praying that it wasn't the Patrick Fleming I know. Many people were in shock to find it was true. People viewed his page and you could see that just hours before he was commenting back to people. Some people thought it was a joke. Sadly it was not. A friend and a VERY loving kind VERY smiley man will be missed and never forgotten. RIP <3 My prayers go out to his family.. (especially his brothers)


Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

From the Flint Journal online: FENTON, Michigan — A 21-year-old Ypsilanti man died Monday morning in an automobile crash on northbound US-23, south of Owen Road, according to police. Police say Patrick L. Fleming was driving a 1994 Oldsmobile Bravada when it ran into the back of a 2009 Chevy Suburban that had slowed because of a traffic back-up in the construction zone. Fleming's vehicle veered to the east, rolling as it left the road way. It came to a rest against an embankment, according to police. He was taken to a local hospital where he died, according to police. The accident remains under investigation.


Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 4:41 a.m.

I rarely cry over news stories... The only joyful part of this story is that Patrick managed to accomplish a hell of a lot in a short time. It sounds like he lived a full life, despite its brevity, and that he made his parents proud, his friends lighthearted, and the world around him better.


Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 3:41 a.m.

My heartfelt condolences go out to the Fleming family this evening. I remember the first time I met Patrick and his brothers,they were toddlers in Barney costumes on Halloween and from that moment on we knew they were special. We watched them grow into respectful young men who would get the leftover candy to share while the delivered our paper and were too old to trick or treat. After the family moved, the guys would stop by to say hi to my mom. She ran into him at the the store a couple and was so please to hear that Patrick was doing so well. Mr.& Mrs. Fleming no 2 parents could have raised better kids than you be proud of yourselves because without you his family he would have never been able to bring so much happiness to so many it the short amount of time we were blessed to share with him on this earth.


Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 1:35 a.m.

Look at that smile...such a beautiful young man. My prayers are with him, his family and his friends.

Elaine F. Owsley

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 9:42 p.m.

Move over Gabriel.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 9:11 p.m.

What a beautiful picture and sweet smile. So sad and heartbreaking --he touched so many lives. Condolences to his family.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 8:47 p.m.

That is just awful. It's clear this guy was very talented and had a great future. So sad.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

Some of us have worked with this wonderful young man's wonderful mom for many years. It is unbearable to even think of the pain the family feels. Our hearts, too, go out to his identical twin and, of course, to all of the family.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

Honestly, this story brings tears to my eyes. Everyone loses, especially his family. My heartfelt condolences to Patrick Fleming's family.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 7:14 p.m.

Very sad. I know the band will play with heavy hearts this weekend. Sometimes it's more than a game. And things like this remind us.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 6:53 p.m.

Thoughts and prayers go to Patrick's family and many friends. He graduated from Pioneer in 2009. My daughter said he always had a contagious smile on his face.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 6:17 p.m.

My prayers go out to the Family and Friends, so very sad.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 5:34 p.m.

My deepest condolences to Patricks' family. Such a devastating loss. My heart goes out to them.

Blue Marker

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 4:46 p.m.

It just breaks your heart. I can't imagine how the family must feel. I'm so sorry to read this story. Kiss your kids and spouce every chance you get.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 4:45 p.m.

I sat next to Patrick in band for three years at Ann Arbor Pioneer. He was truly a great guy to know and be with. He'll truly be missed. I'm not sure if a black, male, trumpet-playing angel is a politically correct image, but God has one of them now. Trumept pals forever, Patrick.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 4:26 p.m.

My deepest condolences to this man's family and friends. Ypsilanti and the UofM is certainly the worse off for the loss.

Buster W.

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 4:22 p.m.

It's especially sad when you hear things like this happen to good people.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 4:18 p.m.

I'm so very sorry. What a tragic loss. He sounds like quite an incredible young man.

David Briegel

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 4:08 p.m.

Cash, Gabriel has company! What a tragic loss!


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:59 p.m.

Heartbreaking. You just never know what can happen in the blink of an eye. I know he is a trumpeter for a band of angels in heaven today.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.



Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:42 p.m.

What a sad loss for his family, the UM marching band and basically the world.

John A2

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:40 p.m.

Yeah, how sad can it really get? This young man was a great friend with my nephew, and I heard the news yesterday as my nephew sobbingly told his mother (my sister) over the phone while we were driving. He said that Patrick was his long time buddy he grew up with and they learned music together. Both of them are great musicians and had bands together also. Neither of them used drugs and in great condition for a happy life. I for one am saddened by this great lose and I'm sure not the only one. My heart goes out to his twin who I know is feeling like a limb has been broken away from him. Also my heart goes out to his family and friends. RIP Patrick!


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:25 p.m.

My prayers goes out to his family.