There is no such thing as a simple car accident.

Some so-called “fender benders,” perhaps, qualify as simple, but any crash that causes injuries – especially those that cause serious injury or the loss of life – has an effect that sends ripples through the community.

Gene Power is no exception.

As the State Journal-Register reports, Mr. Power lost his life in September in a car accident, and when that happened, Eau Claire lost a vital member of its community.

At the time of the accident, Mr. Power was Memorial High School’s band director, and was formerly the director of the Sangamon Valley Youth Symphony in Springfield, Illinois, among many other music-focused endeavors.

By all accounts (reports by the State Journal-Register and WEAU News), Mr. Power was devoted to music, his students, and the wider community.

As reported by the State Journal-Register:

“Not only did he share his knowledge and talent in music with our students, but he taught them about community service through sharing music with others. Last season in particular, thanks to Gene’s initiation, we brought our young musicians to perform at local retirement homes and at other community events, as well as putting on ‘instrument petting zoos’ at different sites of the Compass after school program so that more students could be exposed to string instruments.”

Undoubtedly, what people have said about Mr. Power in his remembrance are worthy but only shed a bit of light on the life he lived. In their inadequacy, these words serve as a reminder of the ripple effect: that when crashes happen, and people lose their lives, the community feels it.