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Sun., Sep. 21
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Police identify Plessis racer killed in ATV crash in Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA — A Plessis man was killed Saturday night in an all-terrain vehicle crash.

Brandon L. Hagan, 21, died after crashing on Sandy Hollow Road in the town of Philadelphia about 6:15 p.m. State police, in a statement, said he was driving west in his 2004 Honda ATV when he failed to negotiate a curve, exited the road, was ejected and hit a guardrail.

He was pronounced dead at Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown, after being taken there by Indian River Ambulance. Speed was a contributing factor in the crash, police said.

A second ATV operator in the group, Jon A. Laclair, 27, Evans Mills, suffered minor injuries as he landed in a ditch in an attempt to avoid Mr. Hagan.

Mr. Hagan was known within the north country racing community, competing in go-kart, modified lite and sportsman-level events around the region.

Times archives say he began racing after filling in for a friend in a go-kart race, moving from a last-place start to a fifth-place finish. He began racing regularly after his initial success, notching several wins at races across the region.

“Anywhere he went he was a threat to win the race,” said Chip Burdick, general manager of Chapman’s Can-Am Motorsports Park, LaFargeville.

He said Mr. Hagan was one of the smarter racers in his division, winning the track championship twice.

In a statement on its website, the Mohawk International Raceway in Akwesasne said Mr. Hagan was a talented racer who “will be missed by all.”

Mr. Hagan graduated from the Alexandria Central School, Alexandria Bay, in 2011. While in school, he played football and hockey. He also worked as a heavy-equipment operator for Rusty Johnson Masonry.

Mr. Hagan’s death comes only weeks after the north country racing community lost Port Leyden native Kevin Ward Jr. in a crash with Tony Stewart at Canandaigua. “It’s tragic,” Mr. Burdick said. “All of it.”

Mr. Hagan is survived by his parents, James L. and Amber M. Ward Hagan, a brother, James E., and a daughter, Paislee Ryen, who will turn 2 years old on Sept. 11, along with several grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

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