Friends react to possible hit & run victim's death - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Friends react to possible hit & run victim's death

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Police are still investigating what happened to a man who was found dead on an eastside Madison road; his friends are still in shock.

Those who knew Aryle Dahlke, 66, say he was a fun-loving, outgoing man, who always wanted to listen. They were devastated to hear about his death.

He was a regular at Murphy's Tavern on East Washington Ave. Bartender Jami Phillips says he stopped in nearly every day for a drink, a meal, or just to say hello.

"There'd be a stranger that walked into the bar and before you knew it Aryle was making friends with them," says Phillips.

Phillips' husband Sean had quite a few conversations with him over the years he visited the bar, and says Aryle was always truly caring.

"It was always about asking you how was your weekend, how's your wife, how's your kid, and when you spoke to him you knew he was genuinely interested in what you had to say," says Sean Phillips.

That caring spirit was suddenly taken away in a tragedy just a block away from Aryle's home. A woman driving home from church Sunday night found Aryle lying on Portage Road with serious injuries. She gave him CPR until paramedics arrived. He was taken to an area hospital but did not survive.

Police are still trying to figure out what happened. They say Aryle's injuries indicate he was hit by a car, although they say he may have already been lying in the road when it happened.

Jami Phillips says Aryle was always cautious when he walked, which was nearly everywhere he went. She says despite being a regular customer at the bar, Aryle was never one to get drunk but rather he was just looking to socialize.

"Every time I saw him coming up he was always on the sidewalk, taking the bus, being very aware of his surroundings," says Jami. "He did have a slight disability that it was kind of harder for him to walk, but other than that he was responsible."

Now his friends are left with unanswered questions about what happened.

"We truly may never know what happened to him and it'll just go down as a tragedy that can't be explained," says Sean.

The bar group is holding a remembrance for Aryle at Murphy's Tavern on Wednesday at 5 p.m. and another on Sunday at 2 p.m.

The group is hoping someone will come forward soon with details about his death. Police ask anyone with any information about what happened Sunday night to call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at (608) 266-6014.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Friends of a man found dead on the side of an east Madison road say he was a wonderful man.

A Madison police report shows Aryle Dahlke, 66, may have been run over by a car on Portage Road Sunday night while walking home.

The Dane County Medical Examiner's initial autopsy finds Dahlke died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck. Additional testing is being done at this time.

Police say Dahlke's injuries are consistent with being struck by the undercarriage of a vehicle, but say it is possible he was already lying in the road when he was hit. Police have ruled out a physical confrontation.

Dahlke lived just a block or so away from where he was found by a passerby around 7:30 p.m., who provided CPR until paramedics arrived. Dahlke was taken to an area hospital but did not survive.

Police ask anyone with information about this incident to call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at (608) 266-6014.

Tonight on 27 News at 10, we'll hear from friends about Dahlke's impact on the community.

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