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Music Community Mourns 'Scene Staple' Dead in I-94 Pedestrian Crash

By Alisa Hauser | December 30, 2013 4:10pm
 Brad Miner, 36, an electronic musician and Ukrainian Village, resident passed away early Saturday.
Brad Miner
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UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Friends and family of a musician with deep roots in Chicago's techno, house and electronic music community are mourning the death of the 36-year-old man who parked his Jeep along the side of a highway in Indiana and stepped into the path of an oncoming car early Saturday.

"He touched a lot of people and made an impact by being an open and kind and warm and loving person," said Justin Reed of his friend and music collaborator, Bradley Miner.

Miner, a Ukrainian Village resident, was killed around 1 a.m. Saturday after stepping into the path of an oncoming vehicle on Interstate 94 in Porter County, Indiana, according to a report.

On Monday, Indiana State Police said they were referring to the incident as "a pedestrian crash," and while the origin is unknown, Miner's father, Tim Miner, told DNAinfo Chicago Monday that he believes his son's car ran out of gas and he had been trying to get more gas for his 1999 Jeep Wrangler when he was hit.

The driver of the car, a 25 year-old Gary, Ind. man, was not injured, according to police.  

Miner had spent the Christmas holiday with his family in Sawyer, Mich., and was returning home to Chicago at the time of his death, according to Tim Miner.

Bradley Miner was scheduled to perform at a private New Year's Eve party arranged by illmeasures, a collective of electronic and hip hop artists that included Miner, Reed and musician Ben Stroh, who was also a close friend of Miner's.

A trained pianist and trumpet player who also composed original music, Miner was a "scene staple" who loved all kinds of music, live or electronic, and was "really into Detroit house," Reed said.

Miner got his start playing techno music at Big Wig in 2000 and had performed at West Fest over the summer and in the Chicago Symphony's Music Now Series in October.

Along with Stroh and Reed, Miner was a founding member of Freakeasy Music, which held dance parties at the Metro, SmartBar and other clubs.

Reed described Miner as a "a jack of all trades musically" who wrote original ambient music, as well as downtempo and abstract lounge music.

Born August 16, 1977 in St. Joseph, Mich., Miner graduated with honors from River Valley High School and studied psychology and Spanish at Kalamazoo College, where he also played in the jazz band, according to Tim Miner.

Tim Miner described his son, who also played guitar and piano, as "a creative genius" who was "self taught in just about everything."

"He was bigger than life. He was a Renaissance man, so good at so many different things," added Tim Miner.

Listen to a track by Bradley Miner here.

Bradley Miner had arrived at his family's home at 3 a.m. on Christmas Eve morning and had told his father he preferred to drive at night.

"His hours were Bohemian at best, night was his time, that's when he bloomed," Tim Miner said.

"Everyone loved Brad, Christmas day was fun. We had a great time together and he will be very sorely missed. Most of all I will miss talking to him," Tim Miner said of his son.

Miner had recently moved in with roommates in Ukrainian Village in October after living with his family for part of the year, though he'd spent most of the past 13 years in neighborhoods like Wicker Park and West Town, Reed said.

Reed, a friend of Miner's since they went to college together in 1995, said that although Miner suffered from depression and was looking for a steady job, Miner was "looking to the future and was excited for New Year's Eve and getting his life more together."

"We were shocked [by his death] but also know he had struggled for a long time. None of us really know 100 percent [what happened]," Reed said.

In addition to his work with Freakeasy Music and illmeasures, Miner previously played bass guitar with a local band Office, Reed said.

Bradley Miner is survived by parents Tim and Bonnie Miner and a sister, Erin Miner. A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. EST Jan. 6 at Riverside Cemetery in Three Oaks, Mich. It will be followed by a gathering at Woodland Shores Baptist Church in Bridgman, Mich.