Dion Bagby, a cheerleading coach for Infinity All Stars and new member of the Baltimore Ravens coed cheerleading squad, was on a road trip Friday to visit some of his athletes when he died in a crash in Frederick.
The coach recently tried out for the Baltimore Ravens' coed cheerleading squad, made the team and would have started his first season as an NFL cheerleader in the fall.
Bagby, 27, of Vienna, Va., was driving his motorcycle Friday morning to Camp Woodward in Pennsylvania, traveling north on U.S. 15 when he collided with a 2012 Volkswagen Jetta that was turning left from U.S. 15 south. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
He was headed to Woodward, a gymnastics, cheer and action sports camp, to visit a few of his Infinity cheerleaders on their last day of camp. He was not required to do so, but wanted to support his athletes and see what they had learned throughout the week, said Suzanne Mansfield, general manager of Infinity.
"It's a testament of his dedication to the kids, to the gym," Mansfield said in an interview Saturday. "That was just who he was."
Bagby had been coaching at Infinity for about two years, and intended to continue working full time while cheering for the Ravens.
He tried out for the Ravens for the 2012 season and made the team, but decided not to cheer so he could devote his time to his coaching job, friends said. When he approached the Infinity staff about trying out again, they encouraged him to pursue it.
"He was definitely really excited about that, especially since we were coming off the Super Bowl season," said Paul Vutiprichar, a friend of Bagby's who also cheers for the Ravens' co-ed squad. "He was definitely getting to be a lot closer with the Ravens family."
The team had gotten to know Bagby last year when he first tried out, Vutiprichar said. They were upset last year when he turned down the offer and excited to have him back this year, he said.
"This is such sad news and the entire Ravens family is in mourning," Kevin Byrne, a representative for the Ravens, said in a statement. Byrne also offered thoughts and prayers to Bagby's family.
Bagby's mother, who lives in Oklahoma, could not be reached for comment.
While he was becoming a part of the Ravens family, Bagby was already a loved member of the Infinity family, gym owner Brad Palmer said.
"He impacted every single person that walked in our door," said Palmer. "Even people who hadn't been coached by him directly."
The driver of the Volkswagen, Amy Sue Harrison, of Thurmont, was not seriously injured. No charges were filed Saturday. The crash was under investigation, police said.
The gym canceled classes and the open gym for the weekend, but planned to keep doors open from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday for anyone who wanted to visit coaches and staff for support. The staff at Infinity is planning to put together a book of letters from Bagby's athletes to send to his family. A local memorial service is being planned for after the funeral.
"We always say we are a family," Mansfield said. "He was a huge, huge part of that -- of making it that." ___