Beloved Hamtramck bar owner killed in apparent DUI crash

Friends say Brad Ruff had plans to retire, sell bar at the time of crash

Beloved Hamtramck bar owner killed in apparent DUI crash
Beloved Hamtramck bar owner killed in apparent DUI crash

HAMTRAMCK, Mich. – One man is behind bars, another dead after a vehicle crash involving a motorcycle in Eastpointe.

Brad Ruff died at about 7 p.m. Sunday night after the crash. His wife was critically injured.

Eric Jermaine Compton, 39, was arrested following the incident.

Ruff was the longtime owner of Kelly’s Bar in Hamtramck. People who knew him are still in shock.

“Brad was just the nicest funniest dude, man,” said longtime customer and friend, Todd McNulty.

The 64-year-old was riding his motorcycle Sunday in Easpointe with his wife Patti when a driver, now identified as Compton, allegedly drove through a stop sign at Holland and Rosalind avenues while under the influence, killing Brad Ruff and critically injuring his wife, who’s still in the hospital.

“It’s tragic. I feel terrible for Patti. They were pillars of the neighborhood,” McNulty said.

Police said Compton fled the scene shortly afterwards with a vehicle that was following him.

Compton was arrested not long after that and is facing a slew of charges including failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death. His bond was set at $750,000.

Brad Ruff had plans to retire and move, selling the bar to Kiersten Schilinski and her fiancé six days before the crash.

“He was about to move on and move west and start the new chapter in his life. He had some family out in Arizona. So I think it will be great to just keep it going as it was,” Schilinski said.

Right now, the bar is under renovation. Local 4 learned that when the doors reopen. A party will be held in Brad’s honor.

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About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.