EUGENE, Ore. -- Former Kam River Fighting Walleye forward Dayton Clarke has died tragically after being struck by a truck in Oregon, where he was currently a member of the Oregon Ducks hockey team.
According to a release issued by the Eugene, Ore. police department, officers responded at 3:54 a.m. on Saturday to a report of a severely injured person lying in the middle of E. 24th Avenue, between Kincaid an Harris streets.
Upon arrival they discovered the victim had died.
The University of Oregon and the Fighting Walleye both paid tribute to Clarke on social media.
"We are heartbroken to hear of the passing of former Walleye forward Dayton Clarke. The Fighting Walleye send our sincere condolences to Dayton’s family, friends, and teammates. The Walleye family has suffered a tragic loss and Dayton will forever be in our hearts," the Walleye posted, hours before they were set to take the ice for their third game of the Centennial Cup in Portage, La Prairie, Man.
The Ducks, in an Instagram post, said the team was devastated to learn of Clarke's death.
"He was energetic and full of joy. He was a very good hockey player and a great teammate. We send love and strength to all friends and family of Dayton."
Clarke, a native of Victoria, B.C., was acquired by the Fighting Walleye midway through the 2021-22 season from the Elliot Lake Red Wings and put up 10 goals and 15 points in 14 regular season games. He added 10 points in 10 playoff games, leading Kam River to the Superior International Junior Hockey League final.
He had four goals and two assists in 11 games with the Ducks this past season.
Police, who have not identified the victim, said a 30-year-old male driver arrived back on scene shortly into their investigation in a large delivery truck to cooperate.
The Eugene Police Department's major collision investigation team is working the case.
A GoFundMe fundraiser is expected to be launched in the coming days.