The hockey community is mourning the loss of longtime Saanich Predators player Dayton Clarke.
“With our heaviest heart, we are announcing that Preds alumni Dayton Clarke has passed away. Dayton played for our organization from 2017-2021. He was a very great player and teammate,” his former Junior B hockey club said in a Sunday announcement.
This season, 21-year-old Clarke played as a freshman for the University of Oregon Ducks who announce his death May 14.
“With our heaviest heart, we bring devastating news as Dayton Clarke has passed away. He was energetic and full of joy. He was a very good hockey player and a great teammate,” the statement read.
Originally from Greater Victoria, the right-handed forward also previously played for the Kam River Fighting Walleye in Ontario before moving to Eugene, Ore.
Clarke was walking home from a social gathering near campus when he was hit by a delivery truck while crossing the road Saturday around 3:30 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Eugene Police Department.
“The Clarke family, 29 teammates and countless friends and family, along with the entire hockey community near and far lost a funny, energetic, charismatic and caring young man,” reads an online fundraiser hosted by Craig Thornton.
The GoFundMe aims to raise $40,000 to help bring Clarke home to Greater Victoria and costs of memorial arrangements.