USI student dies in car accident

USI student dies in car accident

Bobby Shipman

USI freshmen Gregory W. Dillman, 18, died of injuries sustained in a car accident early Jan. 7.

Born and raised in the small town of Carmi, Ill. – just 45 minutes outside Evansville, Ind. – Dillman spent his free time getting his hands dirty fishing, hunting or playing sports-especially teeing off on the golf course.

As a kid, he often quoted “Jurassic Park” and “Jaws,” his favorite movies.

He attended Carmi-White County High School where he played quarterback and defensive end for the varsity football team and his region’s all-conference team as a senior.

“He was never one to just be sitting around the house,”  said Jaclun Klintoe, Dillman’s oldest sister. “He was always doing something outdoors.”

Klintoe said Dillman impacted his community.

“We are from a really small community and this has hit everyone really hard,” she said. “There were over 1,000 people at his visitation. He lived in a pretty small town and a lot of people know our family and have known (Dillman) his whole life.”

Dillman has another older sister, Kelsey Dillman, and many friends in Carmi.

“He was a good friend,” Klintoe said. “At the visitation, a group of 10 boys that he had known forever all got up and said he was their best friend.”

She said their words were a testament to who he always was.

Dillman graduated high school in spring 2013 and completed one semester at USI as an undecided major.

“We had just talked at Christmas about trying to find a path and what he thought he’d like. He was talking about maybe geology,” Klintoe said. “I think, you know, he was just like a lot of 18 years olds trying to figure out what he wanted to do.”

She said he also spoke fondly of a post civil war history class.

“It was a new thing. I mean you don’t really take a post-civil war history class in high school,” she said. “It was one of the classes that he was acting like he was enjoying on campus.”

Looking forward to college life, Dillman hoped to make new friends at USI.

“He was just starting to meet new people (at USI),” she said. “I think he was excited. You know everybody is. It’s a new adventure.”

Although he enjoyed life on campus, spending five days a week at the Physical Activities Center working out and hanging with friends, Klintoe said Dillman returned home frequently to hang with old friends, visit family and spend quality time with his girlfriend who was finishing up high school.

“He came home a lot because of her,” Klintoe said.

The Dillman family expressed tremendous gratitude to USI for their overwhelming support.

“The Dean of Students called us. We got flowers from faculty and the president,” Klintoe said. “We are also grateful for USI being so supportive.”