Driver in Dak Thai crash laid to rest

The man who crashed into the Dak Thai restaurant on Oregon Avenue last month has passed away, family members have confirmed. Richard Ray “Dick” Quigley, of Cottage Grove, passed away on June 30. Just over a month ago, Quigley was driving a truck that hauled a camper, when he suffered a stroke and crashed into the corner of West Oregon Avenue and Front Street around 5:30 a.m. Quigley was given physical and mental health checks at the scene, where he was reported to be “sober and healthy.” He was then transported to an area hospital, where it was determined he’d had a stroke while driving. The following week, Quigley collapsed at home, and was taken back to the hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to stop bleeding in his brain. His cousin, Dan Sizemore said that Quigley “never really recovered from that first surgery.” Soon after being released from the hospital a second time, Quigley suffered a second stroke and was put on life support before passing away on June 30. Richard Ray “Dick” Quigley was born on June 17, 1961 in Eugene to Milan Rex Quigley and Aurora Heyl Quigley. He was the fourth child of five children and the second son. His two older sisters preceded him, Denise in 1994 and Milan earlier this year. Sizemore describes him as a “road warrior of South Lane County,” living nomadically in Cottage Grove and Creswell where he grew up. 

According to Quigley’s obituary, Quigley’s brother, Jeff, was his best pal and partner in mischief. They had great adventures as toddlers when frequently they would disappear on their tricycles – one time reappearing in the back of a police car, hardly big enough to see out, eating ice cream cones. Dick, the gentle one, was Sancho Panza to Jeff’s Don Quixote. His father’s work took the family back to Cottage Grove in 1974, where Quigley attended high school. Quigley was a wrestling champion and excelled at woodworking, where he made the family lovely bookcases and tables which they still enjoy. Perhaps his greatest talent was art — abstract of nature and the universe which he practiced throughout his life. Quigley could have been many things but he chose “nature” working for a landscape company and in the last 20 years, developing his own business with clients he retained until his death. He was a gardener by trade, and “had a few customers that said he was a faithful steward of the grounds he was hired to keep,” Sizemore said. He was a lawn and garden artist who knew the name of every plant, tree and pesky weed. Quigley was a fisherman, an avid reader, and someone who “didn’t understand the rudeness in our society so prevalent today,” Sizemore said. When he wasn’t hiking or fishing Quigley read prodigiously. His favorites were all of Edgar Allan Poe and Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.” He had that kind of sensibility. He is survived by his mom Aurora of Eugene; brother Jeff of Hampton, Va.; sister Lisa Brownell of Beaverton, Ore.; and his aunt Thea Ritter of Cottage Grove. Quigley was laid to rest in Cottage Grove, next to his late sister Denise Quigley. Plans to reopen Dak Thai are in the works – but so far, the family is focused on rebuilding what was lost. Al Bennett, owner of the building, said that the loss means pinching pennies and hours on the phone with insurance agencies. Bennett said that construction is at a halt, pending some initial damage reports. “We had two structural engineers come out and they both commented on how amazed they were about how little damage there was compared to what there could have been,” Bennett said. “So once we get the go ahead from them, I don’t think it will be that long before the reopening.”

Attempts to reach the owners of Dak Thai were unsuccessful by press time.



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