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Nov. 20 – COMMENTARY: A Great Guy; An even GREATER Community Journalist

Category: Local Media & Agencies

By Lou Phelps, Savannah Business Journal

November 20, 2016 – The Savannah area media community and his co-workers at WTOC were stunned to learn today that local television anchor and reporter Don Logana died as the result of a car accident at approximately 4 a.m. this morning in a head-on car crash on the BackRiver bridge area, just north of the Talmadge Bridge.

A native of Syracuse, NY, all of us who knew Don understood his pride in and love for his family back home, and his closeness to his parents and siblings. In the last few years, he has been endlessly public about his absolute devotion for his very young niece and nephew, as well.

Whether it was posting about their Halloween costumes – pictures posted just a few weeks ago – or sharing on his Facebook page a new outfit he had bought them – he adored his role as ‘Uncle Don.’

As a community journalist, he had endless contacts and context about our city and region, always able to get the story, always cued in to what was really going on.

There isn’t a reporter in Savannah that hasn’t stood with him waiting for a verdict to come in or for the press conference to begin, shooting the breeze, and swapping stories about the latest rumors around town. I will always remember our three weeks in Brunswick, the only Savannah area journalists covering a death-penalty multi-murder case, analyzing the strategy of the DA and some of judicial decisions that were hard to comprehend. 

In the last few years, he had moved from investigative, featured hard news reporter on WTOC’s evening broadcasts to co-anchoring the station’s morning program, moving up the TV ladder in his career. Always, always Don maintained his strong friendships in the community and stepped up to help out with untiring support for a long list of charitable causes.

His death, at 40, is another senseless loss on our local roadways, about which there is still incomplete information on how the crash occurred. 

According to the SCMPD, a blue pick-up truck and a red four-door car were involved in a head-on crash. There are no details yet on who else was in the vehicles, or whether there are other injuries.

On Saturday night, Don had been texting about the death of a a Savannah firefighter who died attempting to rescue people involved in the collapse of the ferry loading dock on River Street, where a reported 50 people fell in the river. His Facebook page had told about a fun trip he had taken to Charleston this weekend with friends. 

He began his television career in Syracuse, moving on to a local station in Watertown, New York at WWTI-TV, before coming to WTOC in 2004. 

WTOC 11 News Director Scott Galloway told the AJC this morning that, “ the newsroom has taken a terrible hit," adding, “Don was a great guy and such a big part of WTOC and our newsroom family, his loss has left us with a huge void that will be tough to fill.”

Don has earned many honors and awards during his career, including honors from the Georgia Associated Press, the New York Associated Press and New York State Broadcasters Association.

He has also served Georgia journalists as a judge on the panel selecting this year's winners of the Larry Peterson Award, presenting annually by the Society of Professional Journalists/Georgia Chapter.  

Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.  Our hearts at Coastal Empire News go out to his family, his WTOC co-workers and his closest fiends in Savannah who must bear the unbearable.  

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