Ravens cheerleader killed in accident recalled for spirit, joy, passion
Cheer facility in Virginia where Dion Bagby worked opens doors for hundreds of athletes, families
By Susan Reimer
The Baltimore Sun
Coaches, athletes and their families gathered at Infinity All-Stars gym in Fairfax, Va., Saturday and Sunday to remember Dion Bagby, a coach at the gym who had recently earned a spot on the Baltimore Ravens cheerleading squad, and who was killed in a motorcycle accident Friday in Frederick.
“The kids were crying and remembering and tumbling and crying and laughing,” said Brad Palmer, owner of the gym, which canceled classes and threw open the doors for mourning. “It was good to have a place for all the kids and parents and coaches to go. A lot of families came and hung out the whole time.”
Bagby, 27, had been a full-time coach at the gym for the past three years, working primarily with the junior and senior teams.
“He was a fixture here,” said Palmer, who encouraged the athletes to write thoughts and stories about Bagby for a memory book to be sent to family in Oklahoma.
Bagby died Friday morning on Route 15 near Frederick when a Volkswagen Jetta driven by Amy Sue Harrison of Thurmont began making a left turn onto Monocacy Boulevard. Bagby’s Suzuki motorcycle struck the passenger side, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
About 100 mourners visited the Infinity gym Saturday and an additional 125 came Sunday, Palmer said. Plans were being made for a memorial service and members of the Ravens organization expressed an interest in attending, Palmer said.
“The news says a man died in a motorcycle accident,” he said, adding that Bagby meant much more to the athletes and their families. “We are trying to find ways to honor his memory. We want to talk about the man he was and the life he led.”
Bagby was an Oklahoma native and had been a cheerleader at the University of Louisville. He was on his way to Camp Woodward in central Pennsylvania at the time of the accident, to work with several of his athletes on the last day of a weeklong camp. He had been selected to be a member of the Ravens’ co-ed stunt team after tryouts in March.
“Infectious. That’s the word that keeps coming up,” Palmer said of Bagby. “His spirit, his joy, his passion. It was infectious.”