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Community blood drive to honor Bruin in critical condition

Junior Chase Milligan was severely injured in a car accident on Highway 49 on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. The community is planning a blood drive in his honor. Courtesy photo; Photo by The Union  

The Bruin community is a tightly knit group that takes care of each other. It’s not surprising that there is overwhelming support from students, parents, and staff for the upcoming blood drive event being held for Junior Samuel “Chase” Milligan, a student who suffered serious injuries after a car accident on June 9.

According to information from campus administrators, the blood drive will be held in his honor at Bear River High School on Wednesday, June 23, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Bloodmobiles will be waiting and Bruins are highly encouraged to come. To schedule an appointment, go to and enter blood drive code SMFI002. If you are under 16 years old, you will need a parent consent form in order to donate blood. The form can be found at the bottom of the page once you log in.

According to The Union, the California Highway Patrol responded at around 12:30 p.m. to an accident off of Smith Road on Highway 49. Milligan’s car was reported to be on fire when the CHP arrived and later was entirely engulfed by the flames. According to The Union, Milligan was pulled out of the car and a medic assisted him as the car was moved out of the road into a nearby ditch. The Union also reported that an area the size of an acre around the ditch also caught fire but was extinguished by about 1 p.m. North and Southbound Highway 49 were closed for roughly two hours in the vicinity of the accident. 

Milligan is a Bruin that many students know around campus, especially in the athletics community. He is most widely known as player #41 on the football team.

Principal Chris Roberts gave a description of the impact Milligan has in the Bruin community.

“Chase is an important part of the Bruin student body. He’s always positive and always flashing a big smile,” he said. “I’ve truly treasured my conversations with Chase. He’s always eager to have one, and I hope to get that opportunity again. I know that Chase is loved by his coaches and teammates on the football team as well.”

Junior Matthew Heinle, who played football with Milligan, recalled how resilient of a player he is and his incredible attitude.

“When I did play with Chase freshman year, the first time he stepped on the field one of our coaches told me to pick up a hitting pad and put some force in it to see what Chase was made of,” he said. “I put my full arm into it and knocked him down and the first thing he did is stood up and shook my hand and said ‘I’m Chase, thank you for showing me how football is going to be.’”

Heinle reminisced about his friend and added how it was painful to hear of the crash. 

“He would turn on his microphone in zoom in our science class and ask everyone how their week was,” Heinle said. “It honestly hurt to hear that he had crashed.”

Fellow track team member junior Julia Pisenti was glad to have Milligan on the team.

Chase was always such a positive addition to the track team,” she said. “He loved to make jokes and try to be kind to everyone. His good attitude really brightened up a lot of people’s days. I was really sad to hear what had happened to him.”

Junior Aden Mattson, a fellow track team member, shared that Milligan is an important part of discus and shot-put, someone who shows real commitment to the sport.

Sophomore Frank Smith, who has known Milligan for a very long time, described some of his most cherished memories.

“I’ve known Chase since the first grade. He is very funny and adventurous,” he recalled. “My best memory of Chase is of us playing nerf wars and riding scooters down the hill in front of his house.”

The entire Bruin community has expressed their sincerest best wishes for Milligan and his family during this tough time. Many also shared wishes for Milligan’s full recovery.

The staff at Bear River High School want Chase and his family to know that we love them and are here for them,” Principal Roberts said. 

My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family for his recovery,” Pisenti said.

You got this,” Smith said. “You’re strong and you are in everyone’s thoughts and prayers. We miss you and can’t wait for you to be back and better than ever.”

“I hope everything ends up ok and that everyone is alright,” Mattson said.

Sophomore Lawrence Herrera described how to show support for Milligan.

“Well my number one thing is prayer and community support,” he said. “I sent him a letter just so his mom can talk or read them out to him because he’s in a medically induced coma at the moment. A few others have sent his mom letters via messages.” 

If community members also wish to send good wishes to Milligan, Herrera described how they can participate.

“[Messages] can be left at my Mom’s number, (325)-669-0656, and then will be sent to Chase’s family.” 

— Kirsten Briscoe, Maya Bussinger, Noah Siegenthaler, and Sara Tate contributed to this report.

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Community blood drive to honor Bruin in critical condition