Marian University mourns baseball player killed in car crash

(Eric Petruzzi twitter)
(Eric Petruzzi twitter)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Marian University community is mourning the loss of a member of the school’s baseball team.

20-year-old Eric Petruzzi died after a head-on crash on Interstate 65 north of downtown Indianapolis early Thursday morning.

“It’s of those things that you think you know that could never happen to me, and then something like that happens and makes you think you have to appreciate everyday because he had no idea that was going to happen,” Senior Caleb Begle said.

The crash happened shortly after 1 a.m. on southbound I-65 near 21st Street.

Police said Petruzzi of Carmel was driving a car north in the southbound lanes of the interstate when he collided with a semi. He died at the scene, according to Indiana State Police.

Petruzzi played right field for the knights.

The team’s Head Coach, Todd Bacon sent 24-Hour News 8 the following statement.

“Eric was a young man that always had a smile on his face and an up beat attitude to match.
He was a gifted baseball player both physically and mentally.
Strong arm and power at the plate.  His presence in our dugout will be greatly missed!”

The semi driver, Petr Kilimmik of Virginia, and a passenger in the semi were not seriously hurt. There was no indication of impairment by Kilimmik, police said.

A blood test will determine if alcohol or drugs were in Petruzzi’s system.

Petruzzi was a graduate of Brebeuf High School and lived in Carmel while attending Marion University. He enrolled in the university this semester after transferring from Regis University in Denver.

“I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to lose a teammate, and I feel terrible for that team,”  softball player Hannah Williams said. “We’re at college, this is supposed to be the best time of our lives, just studying and trying to have a good time, and something like this happens, you realize that it’s not going to last like this forever.”

Marian University president Daniel J. Elsener issued the following statement:

The Marian University community was deeply saddened to learn that one of our students, Eric Petruzzi, was tragically killed in a car crash early this morning. Eric was a sophomore majoring in business management and a member of the Knights baseball team. Our most heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to Eric’s family and friends, as well as his coaches and professors. The university is providing grief counseling on campus to all students, staff and faculty.