His mother called him a free spirit and many others described him the same way. Brian Regan was a guy who just smiled and seemed to have no worries. He began working at Hoosier Crane in 2013.
“Even if you were upset with him and were yelling at him he would just smile at you,” said Hoosier Crane Service Coordinator Zac Hilligoss.
Inside Sales Manager Brian Koziatek remembers the time he was scheduled to go to Magnetek training with Brian and Jason Pelak. He says he sent out reminders leading up to it, but the day they were scheduled to leave, Brian was unprepared. He says they were scheduled to leave at 4 that day and he and Jason waited in the Hoosier Crane parking lot for Brian to arrive.
“Then around 4:30 he pulled into the parking lot with his truck,” said Koziatek. “He jumps out with a little bag of clothes, puts his hat on backwards, jumps on his longboard and skates over to us. He says, what’s up man, you guys ready to go? It was care free, happy-go-lucky, let’s rock and roll Brian Regan, and I’ll never forget that.”
Brian loved to longboard and ride his motorcycle, but recently he also seemed to love his work. In his second stint at Hoosier Crane Brian was more focused and worked hard to become a full-fledged service technician.
“He’d been working really hard to take that next step in the shop and be a service technician,” said co-worker and friend Matt Miller. “It was really cool to see him rise up to that challenge. I miss him.”
Shop Foreman Mike Smith says Brian was just a kid and didn’t really seem to care the first time he worked at Hoosier Crane, but the second time he was different.
“You could tell he had grown up a bit,” said Smith. “You could see him progress and he was doing more work. He just had that smile and nothing ever bothered him, or at least he never let you see it. He was a good guy all around.”
Service technician Bob Kintner had been working with Brian often in recent months.
“He was very sharp, much like his brother,” said Kintner, comparing Brian to his brother Kevin, who also works at Hoosier Crane. “He was coming a long way as far as his career goes. He was picking up on things and learning a lot. Last Saturday he got done with his first service call on his own and he called me to tell me how excited he was because he was able to get it fixed. Any time you needed anything he was there for you. He was always willing to help, to go out on a job with you, and there was never a dull moment with him.”
A few hours after making that successful service call and calling Bob Kintner and Zac Hilligoss to tell them how excited he was, Brian was involved in a crash while riding his motorcycle along County Road 18. He was taken to the hospital, but he did not survive.
“We were all so proud of him and then we got that awful news,” said Hoosier Crane Service Manager Derek Bukrajewski.
Derek says Brian had worked hard and earned his new position of service technician. He was scheduled to get his own truck and start making regular service calls.
“Those two boys (Brian and Kevin) were always outside, always together, working on something, said Hoosier Crane COO Todd Cook about Brian and Kevin Regan.
“I used to always tease with the neighbors and say those two boys are going to work with us because they were always working on something. They always had their hands in something. Lawn mowers turned into four wheelers, turned into snow mobiles, turned into vehicles. They were always wrenching on something.”
Todd knew Brian and Kevin when they were little guys. The Cooks and Regans lived in the same neighborhood for many years. They’re friends, and Todd is more than a boss to Kevin, and he was more than a boss to Brian as well.
“Long story short they ended up working for us and I was kind of like dad 2.0 and boss 2.0 so to speak. They just look at me and you can see it on their face, Oh God, we’re going to get preached to by Todd.”
Todd says the Regans are a strong family and they have a lot of support during this difficult time. He says Kevin may have the toughest time because he and Brian were very close.