Student dies in Kingston car crash

Family, friends, teammates mourn ‘the spark’ of Gaels soccer squad

Greg Hulse, left, volunteered at an orphanage in Jamaica in 2004.
Greg Hulse, left, volunteered at an orphanage in Jamaica in 2004.
Photo courtesy of the Hulse family

Greg Hulse, ArtSci ’08, may have chosen to live in Watts Hall for his first year of university, but his family in nearby Hartington was never far from his mind.

“Family time was big for him,” said his friend Joe Forsyth, Sci ’08. “He and his younger brother Matt played countless hours of soccer out back.”

Nonetheless, friends said Greg immersed himself in campus life, forging new friendships, excelling in his courses, and playing on the Golden Gaels men’s soccer team.

“He really enjoyed it,” Forsyth said. “He loved going out and being in life sciences and he did well.”

Back home in Hartington for the summer, Greg commuted to Kingston for his job as a Fort Henry guard. As he was driving home from work last Friday on County Road 38, his northbound Honda crossed the centre line and hit a southbound vehicle head-on. Greg died at the scene. He was 19 years old.

Const. Rob Besselink, Frontenac OPP community service officer, said police still haven’t determined the cause of the 5:45 p.m. accident. The three occupants of the other vehicle involved were treated in hospital and released.

Besselink said an accident reconstructionist was at work on the case, and the investigation was ongoing as of yesterday. Anyone with information should call the Frontenac OPP at (613) 372-1932.

“We’re asking for witnesses to come forward because at this point, it seems to be inexplicable as to why [Greg] crossed the line,” he said.

Greg was a striker for the Gaels soccer team, and team striker coach Kelly McNicol, ArtSci ’05, said Greg’s death has deeply affected his teammates.

“Every single guy on the soccer team loved this guy,” McNicol said. “That’s hard to do in a competitive sport.”

Coach Jeremy Armstrong said he was impressed with Greg’s passion for soccer when he first met him last August. Greg approached Armstrong and asked him to let him try out for the soccer team.

“The first one or two times I said ‘give me a couple of weeks,’ but he kept coming back and kept at it,” Armstrong said. “So I gave him a shot and the rest is history.”

Armstrong said Greg’s persistence demonstrated his commitment to the sport.

“He really went out of his way to make me realize that,” he said.

Armstrong said Greg knew that as a first year player he wouldn’t play very often, but he showed a lot of potential.

“He was definitely going to improve,” Armstrong said. “It’s a gentleman’s sport and he [was] one of them.”

Armstrong said Greg’s enthusiasm was an asset to the team.

“The soccer season’s pretty stressful and intense and there’s always days you don’t feel like going [to practices],” he said. “But [Greg] was the guy who always showed up. He was the spark whenever everyone else was dragging. He [gave] 100 per cent all the time. He made a huge impact on the team in that regard.”

Jonathan Hulse said being a Gael was important to his son, who grew up in England until his family moved to Canada when he was eight years old.

“He worked extremely hard to get on the Queen’s soccer team,” he said. “He’d chase down every ball, chase down every man, he just would not let up in anything he did.”

Hulse said that determination carried over to Greg’s experience volunteering at an orphanage in Jamaica while he was in high school. Hulse said that in the orphanage, Greg tutored a boy who never smiled and Greg became determined to lift the boy’s spirits.

“Greg spent three days with him before he finally smiled,” Hulse said.

Greg was also a skilled trombonist who started playing in grade eight. Hulse said Greg had really wanted to play the trumpet, but his missing front tooth and the braces he sported at the time would have made it too difficult. The trombone was a better fit.

Greg became a skilled player, playing and touring with school bands and the Kingston Youth Orchestra, and picked up several music awards.

“He enjoyed everything he did,” Greg’s father said of his son. “There are no regrets ... there’s nothing he missed out on.”

Forsyth, who met Greg in grade nine, said his friend distinguished himself while the pair were attending Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School.

“In grade 12 he racked up a lot of awards,” Forsyth said. “He was very bright.”

Forsyth said he recalls talking about the future with Hulse, who was considering becoming a neurosurgeon.

“He would have loved to be a doctor,” Forsyth said.

It was at Queen’s that Greg met his girlfriend of the past nine months, Julie Mason.

“He loved being with his girlfriend,” Forsyth said. “She really made him happy.”

Forsyth said his friend—the scholar, athlete and musician—could fit in with anyone.

“He could relate to everyone,” Forsyth said. “He would be friends with anyone no matter who they were or what they did. You couldn’t say a bad thing about the guy.”

Forsyth, who plays on the football team, said his second year at Queen’s will not be the same without Greg.

“[It will be different] going to football practice without him being there on the field with the soccer team,” Forsyth said.

Greg’s Gaels teammate Luke Corey, ArtSci ’05, said he thinks that even though Greg is gone, he will continue to have a positive effect on the team “If anything, [his death] will bring the guys together,” Corey said. “Everyone will come together and share in his memory and [they] will take that and use it in the season as motivation. ‘Let’s win this for Greg, play as hard as we can because we know that’s what he’d want.’”

Armstrong said the team was planning to meet to decide how to honour Greg’s memory. He said the team was considering possibilities such as donating money for the orphanage in Jamaica where Greg once volunteered.

He added that the team plans to attend Greg’s funeral together. According to The Kingston Whig-Standard, it will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

“The thoughts of the Queen’s soccer team and Queen’s Athletics are with the Hulse family right now,” McNicol said.

Greg is survived by his parents and his brother Matthew, 16, and sister Stephanie, 13.

“[We’ll] really miss him,” his father said. “His little sister just adored him, just looked up to him.”

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