NBA agent Dan Fegan killed when SUV hit by bus on Highway 82 near Aspen
Wreck happened Sunday morning near Smith Way going down valley
February 25, 2018
Dan Fegan, a longtime sports agent who represented some of the NBA's biggest stars, was killed Sunday morning near Aspen when the SUV he was driving was hit by a bus on Highway 82, sources confirmed Sunday.
Fegan, 56, who at one time was arguably one of the most well-respected agents in the NBA, had a very public split last March with the Independent Sports & Entertainment agency he worked for. The two sides were involved in a lawsuit after he was fired.
In 2016 Forbes magazine listed him as one of the top agents in the country and his clients through the years included Dwight Howard, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Nene and Ricky Rubio.
The Colorado State Patrol said the SUV Fegan was driving was trying to cross or merge onto Highway 82 when it was broadsided by the RFTA bus.
Two other passengers in the SUV, a 29-year-old woman from California and Fegan’s 5-year-old son, were airlifted to a hospital in Denver with serious injuries, according to Colorado State Trooper Gabe Easton. The name of the woman has not been released. Updates on their condition were not available Sunday night.
There was one passenger on the Glenwood Springs-bound bus, Easton said. Although they were "shaken up," the bus driver and passenger were not injured, RFTA CEO Dan Blankenship said.
Reaction around the NBA to the news was swift Sunday as many in the league offered their condolences.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban worked on player contracts and deals with Fegan for years, and on Sunday Cuban said Fegan was a man with a good heart.
"I loved Dan. He was an amazing man. Always a friend. Always a pro. Smart," Cuban wrote in an email to The Aspen Times. "(He) loved his son Bradyn more than anything in the world."
Off the NBA’s main Twitter account, the league tweeted: “The NBA family mourns the loss of longtime agent Dan Fegan. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”
One of Fegan's clients, Memphis Grizzlies forward Chandler Parsons, wrote: “I can't believe you are gone. I am forever grateful for what you did for me and will never forget that. This isn't fair but i know you are in a better place and we will have a glass of red again someday. #RipDanFegan”
I can't believe you are gone. I am forever grateful for what you did for me and will never forget that. This isn't fair but i know you are in a better place and we will have a glass of red again someday. #RipDanFegan pic.twitter.com/uyQXuXaQuC
— Chandler Parsons (@ChandlerParsons) February 26, 2018
Darren Heitner is a sports lawyer in Florida who worked extensively with Fegan the past year. Heitner said Fegan, a graduate of Yale Law School, commanded respect and respected the players and the game.
“You talk to people in basketball in general, colleagues, players, managers, and they all say the same thing, he was the smartest man in the room," Heitner said in a phone interview. “His education aside, he was just a very impressive person who absolutely cared about his clients.”
Heitner, who runs a law firm but also writes for Forbes magazine and started the Sports Agent Blog, said he talked with Fegan up to three times a day in the past year.
“Dan was the type of guy, he made such an impression on you," Heitner said. "He was so passionate about work and his family. He loved to get away. It's still surreal."
The NBA family mourns the loss of longtime agent Dan Fegan. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.
— NBA (@NBA) February 26, 2018
The Fegan’s family released a statement late Sunday that said: "Today we lost a great man, father, son and brother who always stood up not only for his clients, but also for what he knew was right. We are all shocked and saddened by this tragic development and appreciate the outpouring of support. We ask for privacy at this difficult time."
Aspen fishing guide Andrew Shaw, who became friends with Fegan after teaching him how to fish two years ago, remembered him Sunday as a loving and devoted father.
"He loved his job as a father more than anything," Shaw said. "He was a hell of a sport agent, but I would say he was an even better father."
Shaw recalled a conversation over dinner last summer whereby Fegan, as the first person in his family to graduate from high school, said he felt he realized "the American Dream."
Shaw said Fegan also was "always concerned with putting other people before himself."
"He would make sure everyone was having fun, you know, (telling me) I want Tim to catch a fish today," he said. "And he loved just being able to fish right there out of his house. He thought that was the coolest thing ever."
I can't believe we took this picture yesterday with our kids and now your gone. Rest In Peace Dan Fegan. Your spirit will always be in Aspen! pic.twitter.com/YZ7iad0bZV
— Drew Gooden III (@DrewGooden) February 26, 2018
The vehicles collided around 9:22 a.m. Sunday as the SUV attempted to merge on or cross the highway from Smith Way road at about mile marker 34, according to Blankenship. The intersection is just downvalley from RFTA’s Brush Creek Intercept Lot.
"The bus didn't have time to avoid the collision,” Blankenship said, “so it broadsided the other vehicle and knocked it into the median.”
Fegan had a Florida driver’s license and also lived in Beverly Hills. He owned a house in Woody Creek.
The highway was closed and traffic was diverted. The road reopened just after 11:30 a.m., according to Pitkin County alerts.
The first people at the scene included a firefighter from Crested Butte and a park ranger, according to officials investigating the crash.
This is not the first fatal crash that involved a RFTA bus, according to Blankenship, but he didn’t immediately know the number.
"These are very traumatic events for everyone in the RFTA organization and for the people that were involved that were in the other vehicle. Our hearts go out to them and they are in our thoughts and prayers," Blankenship said. "We just hope for the best for everyone involved. We feel badly that this happened."
The intersection, where Highway 82 meets Smith Way and Juniper Hills Road, is located about a mile west of the Brush Creek interchange.
After Highway 82 was widened to four lanes in 1998, there was a sharp increase in accidents at the Smith Way intersection. There have been studies done and the intersection has seen changes and improvements in 2003 and again in 2009.
On Dec. 31, 1999, four people from Illinois were killed when the driver of a rental car tried to cross the downvalley lanes of Highway 82 from Smith Way and the car was hit broadside by a Range Rover. Three people in the car died at the scene and a fourth died later at Aspen Valley Hospital. No alcohol or drugs were involved, and the driver of the Range Rover had minor injuries.
Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect the deadly crash that killed four people was in 1999.