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BMX accident claims life of Pitman grad
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Turlock native Stephen Gugel, 19, died Friday after being injured in a BMX bike accident at the Patterson Skate Park. Gugel, a 2012 Pitman High graduate, fell off a ledge onto his handlebars while performing a stunt, according to the Patterson Irrigator.

Pitman High School Principal Rod Hollars said he heard the news early Friday morning, and the high school is willing to offer any help the Gugel family might need.

“The Gugel family is a major part of the Pitman Pride,” said Hollars. “We’re going to do whatever we can do to help the family out at this time.”

According to Hollars, the Pitman FFA will be providing flowers for Gugel’s memorial service set to be held early next month.

Matt Nascimento, owner of Turlock's Bike Works, said Gugel was a frequent visitor and that the accident has affected the entire BMX community in the city.

“He was really awesome,” said Nascimento. “He was definitely one of the loyals to the shop and I’m still a little lost myself.”

The Patterson Skate Park has been closed while the city continues to investigate the accident. Patterson City officials were unavailable for comment.

A memorial service for Gugel will be held at 3 p.m. Sept. 7 at Allen Mortuary in Turlock.