Caleb Jonathan Sturgis, 25, of West Chester, a care manager at a Glenside agency that offers support for the deaf, died Wednesday, June 27, in a one-car accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Tredyffrin Township.
State police said Mr. Sturgis was eastbound when his Toyota Corolla veered onto the Valley Forge Plaza exit ramp and struck a curb, causing the vehicle to flip onto its roof. Mr. Sturgis was pronounced dead at Paoli Hospital.
Authorities were investigating the possibility that a medical emergency may have caused Mr. Sturgis to lose control of the car. The Chester County Coroner’s Office said the cause and manner of his death were marked as pending while further study is done.
Mr. Sturgis, who was deaf, had just started a job in May with PAHrtners Deaf Services, which offers behavioral, developmental, and therapeutic support to deaf people. He was on his way to work Wednesday morning when the crash occurred.
“He was very excited to be getting on with his life,” said his father, Scott, an Inquirer editor who also writes “The Driver’s Seat,” an automobile review column. In the column, he often referred to his son as Sturgis Kid 2.0.
Born in Clearfield, Pa., Mr. Sturgis was living with his parents, Scott and Lori Chernisky Sturgis.
Like his mother and two sisters, Mr. Sturgis attended Gallaudet University, a college for the deaf in Washington. He left school just a few credits shy of graduating, but was planning to complete his bachelor’s degree once he adjusted to the job at PAHrtners Deaf Services, his father said.
Before going to college, Mr. Sturgis was home-schooled by his mother.
Mr. Sturgis was in a committed relationship with Renjason Patulot, who said the two men shared many interests and talked for hours about politics, philosophy, and the meaning of life.
Patulot, of Barrington, was struck by Mr. Sturgis’ kindness and care for others, even strangers.
“Those things stood out and helped me grow,” Patulot said. “It was not a fairy-tale relationship. It had its ups and downs, but we would always come through and boost each other up. And it’s just sad that the journey is cut short for him.”
Mr. Sturgis loved animals, and was devoted to his family’s dogs and cats. Though he usually communicated via sign language, he had an uncanny knack for summoning the cats from remote parts of the house when no one else could. The trick was a special sound in his voice, his father said.
He was not a football fan, and so only learned of his shared name with Eagles kicker Caleb Sturgis through others. He once received a misdirected request for an autograph in the mail from one of the placekicker’s fans, his father said.
Mr. Sturgis enjoyed the TV shows Will & Grace, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Game of Thrones, and The Voice UK, according to his social media profile on Facebook.
In addition to his parents and partner, Mr. Sturgis is survived by sisters Tanya and Cassandra; a brother, Jared; and paternal grandmother, Joan Sturgis.
Plans for funeral services were pending.
Memorial donations may be made to the Deaf Hearing Communication Centre, 630 Fairview Rd., Suite 100, Swarthmore, Pa. 19081, or to any animal welfare agency.