Jogger killed in campus accident was an avid runner, Spartans fan and involved father

He loved to run, he loved sports, and he loved to cook.

Those were some of the passions of Perry Badia, the 54-year-old jogger who died May 14 following a traffic accident on Oakland University’s campus.

Badia was jogging on Pioneer Drive when a 25-year-old Oakland student driving a Toyota sedan hit him at approximately 5 p.m.

He was sent to McLaren Oakland Hospital, transferred to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, and pronounced dead later that night due to complications related to multiple blunt force trauma.

Michele Topalian, close friend of Badia’s, said she found out about his death Friday morning.

“We’ve been friends for like 32 years,” Topalian said, saying she, her husband and Badia attended Michigan State University together and that her husband was Badia’s roommate.

“We are devastated.”

Badia loved to cook, she said, particularly pasta and Italian food.

He sold computer and software packages to make his living and was an avid sports fan, particularly of anything MSU.

“He was really just a nice, nice man. My husband and he were really close,” Badia said. “We were always getting together to watch a Spartan game — basketball, football, anything — every time there was a big game.”

He also loved to run — Topalian said Badia participated in quite a few marathons, including the Boston Marathon.

Badia, who has lived in Rochester for the past five or so years, according to Topalian, had two daughters: Ashlee, 15, and Sabrina, 12.

Topalian said they were the world to Badia and that he was a very involved and caring father.

“He was a very, very good dad,” Topalian said. “He took them everywhere, he was at every soccer game.”

She said Ashlee and Sabrina currently live in Troy with Badia’s previous wife, Kristin Badia. It was Kristin who notified a friend of Topalian’s, who then notified them of Perry Badia’s death.

Badia was born on November 29, 1960. He attended Cousino High School and received his Bachelor of Science in Packaging from Michigan State University in 1984.

Topalian said Badia his survived by his daughters, Kristin, parents, and two sisters.

Badia’s sister, Carol, is sharing updates on his Facebook page.

“Perry was a great brother, son, father and friend,” she wrote. “He will be missed in our lives deeply.”

Other friends and family of Badia shared their condolences and memories on Carol’s post.


Police are currently investigating the traffic accident that killed Badia.

The Oakland Press reports that he may be the first pedestrian death from a vehicle accident on Oakland’s campus in its nearly 60 years of existence.

School officials said Badia’s death has been ruled accidental, The Oakland Press reports.

The investigation is ongoing and it is not yet known whether charges will be pressed against the student driver.

Officials said drugs and alcohol were not likely factors, but sun blindness could have been.

The Oakland Post will continue to update with more information as it becomes available.