91°F
weather icon Clear

Brother accepts diploma for Las Vegas student killed in crash

Updated May 25, 2019 - 7:30 pm

Eight days after Michael “Mikie” Sigler died in a motorcycle crash, the high school senior’s older brother walked across a stage Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center to accept a diploma on his behalf.

On May 17, Sigler, an 18-year-old Cimarron-Memorial High School student, was riding his motorcycle when he was struck by a car, driven by an 18-year-old student, on westbound Lake Mead Boulevard, near North Buffalo Drive, the Metropolitan Police Department said. Sigler was taken off life support Wednesday at University Medical Center, his mother, Courtney Kaplan, said.

While Christian Sigler accepted the diploma on his younger brother’s behalf, about 40 of Michael Sigler’s family members were expected to attend the ceremony.

“I feel like in so many ways, it was symbolic for him to make that walk and accept the diploma,” Kaplan said Friday about her eldest son. “He lost his only brother.”

Kaplan walked with her older son during Saturday’s ceremony. She said on Friday that during the school year, Michael Sigler worked hard to pass his classes and qualify for graduation.

“Mikie earned this, and it is an honor to be representing him and receiving his diploma,” she said after Saturday’s ceremony.

Michael Sigler grew up with an older sister, an older brother and two younger sisters, both of whom still attend the high school. Christian Sigler, now 19, is only 19 months older than his brother.

“They were inseparable,” Kaplan said Friday. “They were each other’s best friend and each other’s mentor.”

Michael Sigler’s family knew before Wednesday that he wasn’t going to recover from the crash but were waiting to take him off life support. A few months ago, the 18-year-old registered as an organ donor when he accomplished a lifelong dream of getting his motorcycle license.

He had a rare blood type for organ donation — type B — so his organs might save up to nine people who have waited on the donor list, Kaplan said.

“I know we all grieve differently, and perhaps the hatchet will fall some point, but honestly I miss him, (but) I’m not sorrowful. I’m not unable to cope,” Kaplan said. “I’m really, really proud of what Mikie’s done.”

Community support

The community also has rallied around the family. A fundraiser, organized by VegasHealthcare, took place Thursday at Paymon’s Mediterranean Cafe to raise money to help pay for medical and cremation costs.

On Wednesday, as he was being pushed in a hospital bed to the operating room to have his organs removed, Michael Sigler’s graduation gown was draped over him. Hospital staff lined the hallways during the hospital’s first-ever “honor walk,” meant to recognize organ donors. They watched as Michael Sigler’s family followed behind his hospital bed.

Michael Sigler had picked up the graduation gown from school the day of the crash, Kaplan said.

He had just dropped off the graduation regalia when he left his mother’s home again, driving his motorcycle to a friend’s house to help him with homework. Then the crash happened.

Kaplan has said she doesn’t blame the 18-year-old driver. She said meeting him gave her “closure.”

“I want to pour whatever I can into that young man. He’s got a whole life to live, and we want to support him on his way as well,” she said Saturday.

‘This is a beginning’

After the graduation ceremony, Kaplan and Michael Sigler’s father, Charles Sigler, said they will continue to share their son’s story.

“This is a beginning,” Charles Sigler said. “Sharing Michael’s gift of life and carrying the donor message as far and wide as I can, that’s what this is about.”

He also thanked the community for the “outpouring of love.”

“Our motto ‘Vegas Strong’ is worth of this town, absolutely worthy,” Charles Sigler said.

And while Michael Sigler wasn’t at Saturday’s ceremony, his family was there instead, to make sure he was recognized.

When the graduating seniors were signaled to walk across the stage and accept their diplomas, Mikie was the first one called.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Local Videos
Worker injured at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas - Video
A worker at Allegiant Stadium was injured Thursday morning, Aug. 13, in an incident involving a boom lift outside of the $2 billion facility. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Flamingo rollover crash
Las Vegas police investigate a rollover crash at the intersection of West Flamingo Road and Edmond Street on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Health district alleviates COVID-19 testing demands - Video
The Southern Nevada Health District is helping to alleviate COVID-19 testing demands by setting up smaller, pop-up neighborhood testing sites. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Neighborhood COVID-19 Testing Sites - Video
The Southern Nevada Health District is helping to alleviate COVID-19 testing demands buy setting up smaller, pop-up neighborhood testing sites. They are taking the weight off of the larger testing facilities, and providing more community based testing, especially in minority and senior communities hit hardest by the pandemic. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Goodwill provides ways for Las Vegas Valley families to save money - VIDEO
Goodwill is becoming the surprising place for families and job seekers to save money during the COVID-19 pandemic. We look at its safety measures and price out outfits for a family of four. (Angus Kelly and Carrie Roper/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fungus creating 'zombie' cicadas - Video
A “mind-control” fungus found in cicadas manipulates the insects into “zombies” that spread fungal spores, according to a researcher. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Wells Fargo teams up with Three Square food bank - Video
Wells Fargo and Three Square food bank team up to help out those in need during the coronavirus pandemic. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Coronavirus cases triple at Henderson nursing home - VIDEO
The number of residents with COVID-19 at Lake Mead Health & Rehabilitation in Henderson tripled overnight, according to state data. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
National Nurses United organized the picket at St. Rose Dominican, Siena campus - Video
National Nurses United organized the picket outside of St. Rose Dominican in Henderson calling for more nurses to improve the ratio of nurses to patients. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Reveiw-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Opponents to Floyd Lamb Park barn conversion sue - VIDEO
Opponents of a plan to convert a historic hay barn at Floyd Lamb Park at Tule Springs into an event center are suing the city of Las Vegas and Councilwoman Michele Fiore to halt the project. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Doubling down with the Derricos - Video
North Las Vegas couple Deon and Karen Derrico and their 14 children will be featured on a TLC reality show "Doubling Down With the Derricos." The Derrico family and their children includes quintuplets, triplets, twins and singletons. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police give details on fatal crash near Las Vegas Strip - Video
A 16-year-old girl died and two other people were injured in a one-vehicle crash on Sands Avenue near Las Vegas Boulevard South on Monday morning, Aug. 3. (Glenn Puitt/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ICU nurse talks about staffing shortages with COVID-19 patients increasing - Video
A 92 percent occupancy rate might suggest that a hospital still has room for more patients. But the number, according to Las Vegas Valley ICU nurse Geoconda Hughes does not tell the whole story. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police investigate homicide.
Detectives were investigating a homicide in southwest Las Vegas on Friday morning. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Buffalo Soldiers Day in Nevada - Video
Secretary of Buffalo Soldiers Horse Cavalry Anne Monterio attends a service honoring Nevada’s African American veterans for the Second Annual Buffalo Soldiers Day in Nevada, at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mob Museum makes hand sanitizer out of moonshine - Video
The Mob Museum's moonshine distillery has been making hand sanitizer in their underground facility for the past few months. Senior Educator Jim Zlomke shows how the FDA approved formula is made. (Cassie Soto/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
100 Dinners distribution in Las Vegas - Video
Food writer and lead organizer of Please Send Noodles, Kim Foster ,discusses preparing and distributing 100 meals for individuals of the community, at Foster’s home in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 25, 2020. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Eyewitness recounts man's drowning at Bellagio fountains - Video
Kayla Eklund said she called 911 Friday morning after she and her friend witnessed a man jump into the water at the Bellagio fountains. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed when struck by a vehicle in south Las Vegas - Video
A man was struck and killed by a vehicle when he ran onto Las Vegas Boulevard South near Windmill Lane in south Las Vegas early Wednesday, July 22. (Glenn Puit/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lead investigator of local COVID-19 vaccine trial talks about hopeful outcomes - Video
Dr. Michael Levin, investigator for the phase three trial of the first COVID-19 vaccine developed in the U.S. by the National Institute of Health and Moderna Inc., talks about what health experts hope to learn from the trial. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Activists, union: Support only Black-owned businesses Monday - VIDEO
Social justice activists and a major labor union banded together Monday to keep attention on the Black Lives Matter movement. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
No Mask Nevada protests governor's mask mandate in Henderson - VIDEO
About 200 people gathered in Henderson on Saturday morning to protest Gov. Steve Sisolak’s mask mandate.The demonstration was organized by No Mask Nevada, a political action committee. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police: Mom Arrested in Fatal Crash Drove 121 MPH - VIDEO
A 23-year-old woman arrested Sunday night after a crash that killed her 1-year-old son was driving 121 mph at the time of the collision, according to a Las Vegas police report. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Owner of Mario’s West Side Market talks about his role in community - Video
Mario Berlanga, owner of Mario’s West Side Market, talks about his role in the community and his thoughts on the recent Black Lives Matter protests. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trustees approve CCSD fall school reopening plan with caveat - VIDEO
In a marathon meeting Thursday night, Clark County School District trustees approved a plan to reopen schools this fall with the caveat that additional details about how to do so would come back before the board. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jara says time for debate is over on CCSD reopening plan - VIDEO
With pressure growing for the Clark County School District to modify its school reopening plan, Superintendent Jesus Jara said Tuesday that the time has come to move forward on the existing blueprint. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
RTC considers route changes as pandemic affects ridership, revenue - Video
Stung by a drop in public bus ridership because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada is considering systemwide service changes. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)v
Fireworks light up Las Vegas - Video
Las Vegas celebrated the Fourth of July with fireworks lighting up the entire valley. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fireworks in the Moapa sky - Video
Fireworks explode near Moapa Paiute Travel Plaza during Fourth of July festivities in Moapa, northwest of Las Vegas, on Saturday, July 4, 2020. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fourth of July fireworks at Plaza in downtown Las Vegas - Video
Fourth of July fireworks at the Plaza casino lit up the night sky in downtown Las Vegas on Saturday. (David Guzman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Train carrying decommissioned nuclear reactor passes through Las Vegas - VIDEO
The train carrying a decommissioned nuclear reactor vessel from Southern California is passing through Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST