The Iota Eta chapter of Pi Kappa Phi was struck by tragedy on March 23, when three of the fraternity’s brothers were involved in a car accident. Ethan Sabay, a freshman Global Security and Intelligence Studies student, passed away. He was 19 years old and originally from Albuquerque, N.M. The other two brothers who were struck, Osama Bakarat and Michael McIlhenny, survived the crash and were rushed to hospitals in Phoenix. They are currently recovering after several surgeries. It was a deep pain felt by the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University community.
Ethan was remembered fondly by many people whose lives he touched. Seerat Sangha shared a special memory of Ethan with Horizons. “I had made a status on Facebook that read, ‘Limited Edition Spider-Man Fudge Striped Cookies <3’ and five minutes later, we heard a knock on our lounge door and it was Ethan and Christina from the floor below us! This was around midnight too that night! I opened the door and he said, ‘I heard there were cookies here!’ And I replied with, ‘You came here for cookies?’ And he happily said, ‘Yup!’ I gave him the entire tray. That’s one night I won’t forget about Ethan. He was a wonderful person with a charming personality, always brightening up everyone’s day. He will be dearly missed and always loved.”
Laura Pelletier, another close friend of Ethan which he made at ERAU, shared this story: “One night Ethan and his roommate Quinn stole one of my stuffed giraffes and said they would bring it back the next day, but it disappeared for about three weeks. Ethan wouldn’t give it back because he liked to use it as an excuse to get me to come to his room more often so he could see me while I would look for the giraffe. He eventually gave me the giraffe back and when I asked him where he hid it that whole time he replied: ‘It may or may not have been in the freezer for a while….’ so I asked him, ‘Why on earth would you put a stuffed giraffe in the freezer?’ And he replied, ‘It wanted to see what the life of a penguin is like!’ and everyone started laughing.”
Kristofer Book, one of Ethan’s fraternity brothers, remembers him as “a celebration of life. Ethan was exactly what everyone strives to be. He strived to be the happy-go-lucky guy, the smile in every room. That’s truly what he was. He would walk into a room and it immediately became a better place… He was the hard worker in class, the religious believer, he was the happy-go-lucky. I like to remember Ethan as the kid who was always laughing.”
Ethan was remembered at his funeral Mass in Albuquerque, and the Department of Student Life paid for transportation of students to the funeral on Wednesday, April 3. Ethan Sabay was also remembered at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on April 7 in a memorial service at the Davis Learning Center, where speakers remembered him and videos were shown. The DLC was nearly full for the celebration of Ethan Sabay’s Life, and it showed the true magnitude of his loss.