A tight-knit fraternity family on the University of Evansville campus continues to lean on each other as they mourn the loss of one of their own who was killed in a weekend crash. Devin Cyr, 20, died early Sunday morning after the driver of a semi failed to stop and plowed into Cyr’s stopped vehicle on U.S. 41 Saturday afternoon, authorities said. Cyr had just completed his sophomore year at UE and was an active member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, better known as SigEp.
The driver of the semi was cited after the crash. The investigation is ongoing, authorities said.
Speaking in hushed tones and sharing stories of their close friend, several members of the fraternity gathered in the house’s common area on Tuesday afternoon. One of Cyr’s intramural sports jerseys lay on the table. Cyr was the fraternity’s glue and always found a way to put a smile on people’s faces.
“All he needs is two seconds and he’ll make you like him no matter what,” said Nasib Alhaffar. “We figured out that instead of thinking about how tragic this all was let’s just remember how good of a guy he was.”
In the wake of Cyr’s death, the group finds itself closer than ever. Not only are the fraternity members rallying around one another, they’re also rallying behind Cyr’s family. The fraternity started a GoFundMe page to raise money to help cover funeral costs. As of Tuesday afternoon, the page had generated more than $10,000.
More than 150 other SigEp chapters from across the country have also called to send their condolences.
“I’ve always thought that UE was a super tight-knit community and just seeing all the donations we got from that was super amazing,” said Cameron Robinson, the chapter’s president. “It just shows how great of a guy Devin was and how respected he was.”
Cyr earned many nicknames during his short stint at UE. He was known for ‘dabbing’ during his freshman year. He was also know as ‘Big Shot Bob’ for his basketball prowess. The would-be junior excelled at sports and showed tremendous commitment to everything he did.
“He was just on a mission. That explains Devin [perfectly],” said Austin Cibulka. “We would watch TV. It was just something so simple like that that I had every single day… It was something I’m always going to remember. It’s going to be really difficult that he’s not ot here anymore. We can’t share those experiences.”
Immediately after the accident, Cyr was rushed to an Evansville-area hospital. Word of the crash spread quickly amongst the fraternity. More than 40 members were in the waiting room before many of them said their last goodbyes. There would have been even more people if Saturday weren’t graduation, said Jake Gould.
“The dude was the life of any room he walked into. You could be having the worst day of your life and he’d walk in and you would instantly smile,” Gould said.
After leaving the hospital, the first thing the group did was play a podcast that Cyr recently recorded. Cyr had plans — detailed plans — to keep the project going in hopes of one day introducing it to longtime Colts punter Pat McAfee. In a way, Cyr wanted to be a kicker and comedian just like McAfee.
He never had the chance to record a second episode.
“It was really difficult [to listen to the podcast] but it was one of the most comforting feelings, hearing his voice, sharing those memories. It was just like the old Devin joking around, doing anything to put a smile on anyone’s face,” Cibulka said.
Alex Gould said one of the last conversations he had with Cyr made him truly appreciate how great of a friend he was. In his own unique, quirky and funny way, Cyr told Gould that even though he was much shorter, Cyr looked up to him.
“He was just this soft spoken type of guy but when he said something you had to listen because you know it was gold, whether it was funny or serious or true,” Alex Gould said. “That was the last conversation we had together. Boy am I thankful for it.”