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Article updated: 5/18/2014 11:39 PM

U of I student from Lemont killed in crash

By Katlyn Smith

Paul Davidson III celebrated his approaching college graduation with a family dinner.

The University of Illinois senior went to a popular eatery near the Urbana-Champaign campus Friday night for barbecue -- Davidson's favorite -- after the Iraq War veteran finished his last exam.

Then the Lemont native jumped on the back seat of his 2003 Harley motorcycle to get a haircut for the big day, his mom Corinne Davidson said.

"He went, but he didn't make it," she said.

Davidson, 30, was killed Friday night after a car struck his motorcycle near University and Lincoln avenues, Urbana police said. He was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital, where he died from his injuries.

His passion for architecture lead to his role as a combat engineer during a 2005 tour with the Marines in Fallujah, where he helped rebuild buildings damaged by bombings, his mom said.

"All around he was such a hard worker," she said.

According to a police report, Davidson was driving his motorcycle about 8:45 p.m. Friday when a driver of a 2003 Buick did not see him as her car was turning left. The driver of the car, Mary Bridges, 64, of Urbana, was charged with failure to yield turning left, police said. She was taken to Presence Covenant Medical Center with minor injuries.

Davidson was not wearing a helmet, his family said.

"He only wore helmets when he had to," his dad Paul Davidson II said. "He didn't like the extra bulk on his head."

The honors student was set to receive a degree in architecture Saturday. He was planning on graduate school, his mom said.

"He was looking forward to his future," she said.

A visitation will be held Thursday afternoon at Calvary Church, 1375 State St., Lemont. A funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at the church.

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