Breaking News: Damon Bailey's Father Killed in Motorcycle Accident, Mother Severely Injured

Tom Brew

The Brown County Sheriff's Office in Nashville, Ind., confirmed Tuesday morning to HoosiersNow that Wendell Bailey, the father of Indiana basketball legend Damon Bailey, died in a motorcycle accident Monday afternoon on State Road 46.

Bailey's mother, Beverly, also was involved in the accident and was airlifted from the scene in rural Brown County to an Indianapolis hospital. Her condition is unknown at this time. 

Here is the complete press release from the Brown County Sheriff's Department:

On Monday, September 21, 2020, at approximately 2:47 p.m., deputies with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the 3600 block of State Road 46 East in Nashville, Indiana, in reference to a motor vehicle accident involving multiple vehicles.

During the investigation, it was found that a 2005 Nissan Altima driven by Jacob Waltermire, was attempting to pass a tractor-trailer and noticed an oncoming motorcycle. Waltermire terminated the pass and got back behind the tractor-trailer before over-correcting and losing control. Waltermire’s vehicle crossed the center line and was struck by a 2012 Hyundai Elantra driven by Hana Cai. Cai was traveling behind the motorcycle and was unable to avoid the collision Waltermire.

It is unclear at this time how a 1990 Honda GL1500SE motorcycle, being driven by Wendell Bailey, was involved in the accident. Despite lifesaving efforts, W. Bailey, was pronounced deceased at the scene. W. Bailey’s passenger, Beverly Bailey, was flown to a nearby hospital via helicopter due to the extent of her injuries.

No other injuries were reported.

Waltermire was taken to Columbus Regional Health for a blood-draw; which is standard procedure in fatality crashes.

The accident is still under investigation.

Bailey is one of the most well-known basketball names in the state. Damon grew up in nearby Heltonville and earned a place in the national spotlight when he was recruited by Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight while he was still in grade school. He was a star at Bedford North-Lawrence High School and won a state championship in 1990 in front of more than 41,000 fans at the RCA Dome in Indiana.

He played at Indiana from 1990 to 1994 and finished as the school's sixth all-time leading scorer upon graduation. He was a third-team All-American during his senior year. He was drafted by the Indiana Pacers, but never played in an NBA game. He played professionally in the CBA for several years and retired from basketball in 2003.

He still lives and works in Bedford and has spent a lot of time coaching and helping his three kids during their athletic careers.

The Indiana basketball program posted a note of condolence on Twitter. It said:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Damon Bailey and his family during this difficult time. We are so sorry for the loss of your father, Wendell, and for injuries suffered by your mother, Beverly, in this terrible accident yesterday.''

This story is developing and we will continue to update it throughout the day.

Related stories on Damon Bailey

  • SI VAULT: Read Alexander Wolff's profile of Damon Bailey and his family just prior to him beginning his freshman season at Indiana. CLICK HERE
  • REVERSAL OF FORTUNE: Indiana bounces back from loss to Butler to stun No. 1-ranked Kentucky in December of 1993. CLICK HERE
  • TITLE CHASER: Relive Damon Bailey's 1992 and 1993 seasons at Indiana. CLICK HERE
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Damon Bailey made the cover of Sports Illustrated after the Hoosiers knocked off No. 1 Kentucky in December of 1993. (Sports Illustrated archives)