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College Angler Travis Ely of Purdue University Killed in Car Accident

The college angling community and larger fishing community are mourning the loss of young college angler, Travis Ely of Nashville, Indiana and for the injuries sustained by his teammate Hunter Heckman, of West Lafayette, Indiana, who is a freshman at the University of Purdue after the duo were involved in a car accident Sunday night, Oct. 15, 2023. The members of the Purdue University Bass Fishing team were driving home from the Association of College Anglers Collegiate Bass Fishing Series event on Lake Dardanelle in Russellville, Arkansas when the accident occurred.

It’s always tough when someone passes so sudden and unexpected, but this one was really tearing up the college angling community on Monday as the tournament fishing crowd in college is like a giant brotherhood, and any loss of a young person just getting started on their own personal journey in life is tragic.

Travis Ely and Hunter Heckman competed in the Collegiate Bass Fishing Series Saturday and Sunday and ended up finishing a very respectable 35th-place finish out of 248 boats at the Aftco Open on Lake Dardanelle. Both anglers are loved by the Purdue University community, their bass fishing teammates and the greater college angling community.

Hunter Heckman has been released from the hospital and is at home recovering from his injuries from the wreck.

A Celebration of Travis’ Life will be conducted by Pastors Tim Bond and Kendall Yeaton on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023 at 10 a.m. at the Nashville Christian Church, 140 S. Van Buren Street. Friends and family are invited to a visitation from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20 at Meredith-Clark Funeral Home Cremation & Personalization Center, 179 E. Mulberry Street in Morgantown. Burial will be at Weeping Willow Cemetery in Bean Blossom.

Memorial contributions can be made in honor of Travis to the Travis Ely Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 308, Morgantown, IN 46160 or the Purdue University Fishing Team, 343 Sylvia street, West Lafayette, IN 47906 and/or Do Something Inc. P.O. Box 2022 Nashville, IN 47448

Expressions of caring and kindness may be sent to the Ely family at The following link will also be included in the Linktree in our bio.

Travis Jacob Bond Ely Obituary

Our hearts at Wired2fish are broken for the loss and injuries of these young anglers and our thoughts and prayers go out to their families, their friends and the angling community that knew Travis Ely.