Patterson's son killed in snowmobile accident
February 11, 2007
By JULIE EDGAR
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Brooks Stuart Patterson — the 28-year-old son of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson — was an avid winter sportsman who went to college in Colorado and once ran a company that made snowboards.
The younger Patterson, of Lake Orion, died early Sunday after a snowmobile crash on a small, ice-covered lake in Genesee County. The Lake Orion resident had three children, the youngest a daughter born two months ago.
You would have remembered him,” said Jean Chamberlain, a longtime associate and friend of the county executive. Chamberlain described the Lake Orion resident as humble, pleasant and “movie-star handsome.”
“He was just a gentleman,” she said.Another snowmobile slammed into the one Patterson was riding on as a passenger about 10:45 p.m. Saturday on Lake Shinanguag in Atlas Township, the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department said. The crash occurred after Patterson’s snowmobile emerged from a cove-like area on the lake. The sheriff’s department is still investigating.
Authorities said it’s possible the drivers didn’t see each other, though they might have had lights on because it was dark. It was not known how fast the snowmobiles were going. The driver of Patterson’s snowmobile, a 48-year-old Goodrich resident who owns property on the lake, was in critical condition at an area hospital Sunday. His name was not released.
The driver of the other vehicle, whose name also was not released, was not seriously injured, officials said. Patterson was pronounced dead at Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc about 1:55 a.m. Sunday, the sheriff’s department said.Sheriff’s officials said there are no restrictions on riding snowmobiles on the frozen lake and that it is popular, particularly with people who live in the houses on Lake Shinanguag.
“It’s a popular lake, period,” Undersheriff James Gage said.Authorities said they have had few, if any, problems there.Patterson’s family declined to comment Sunday. Funeral arrangements are being handled by CoatsFuneral Home in Waterford. Gov. Jennifer Granholm , who has frequently sparred with L. Brooks Patterson in the political arena, said she and her husband were “heartbroken over the news.”“
As parents, we cannot imagine greater loss or greater pain,” she said in a statement. .… Political disagreements are utterly trivial in the face of such wrenching human tragedy. “Our hearts, prayers and deep, deep sympathy go out to Brooks and his family.”Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano also expressed condolences, saying in a statement: “It is times like these that causes all to pause as we are reminded of what is really important in our lives.”
The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s Office had not decided Sunday whether to perform an autopsy, said Michael Zehnder,the county’s director of public services.Patterson, a 1997 graduate of Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield Hills, ran Nomadica Redevelopment, a residential building company in Lake Orion. He is survived by his wife, Jessie; two sons, Ryder, 6, and Luke, 3; and a daughter, Marlee Tru, born in December. Carmen Talbot, a longtime staff member in L. Brooks Patterson’s office, described the younger Patterson as personable and polite. He was very close with his family, which was planning a trip together to Florida next week, she said.
“He’s in Brooks’ office every so often, and I walked by recently when I saw him and then walked back again and gave him a hug. I said I just wanted to say hi, and I’m glad I did. It’s just devastating,” she said.Patterson was among three men who died over the weekend in snowmobile crashes.
In St. Clair County, a 46-year-old man was riding on the Swan Creek Canal when he lost control and crashed early Sunday, the Times Herald of Port Huron reported.
He later died at a hospital.Late Friday, 47-year-old Donald L. Spencer of Kochville Township died after his snowmobile struck a railroad bridge pillar on the Saginaw River in Bay County’s Frankenlust Township, the Saginaw News reported. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Contact JULIE EDGAR at 248-351-3294 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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