Industry praying for Coach Quarters founder Mike Middaugh after RV crash

Bus and motorcoach industry leader Mike Middaugh, president and CEO of the Ohio company Coach Quarters, is in critical condition after a May 31 crash that killed his wife, Fran, 72.

“Please keep the family in your prayers,” the Midwest Bus & Motorcoach Association asked in an alert sharing the news with Middaugh’s colleagues.

The crash happened around 11:45 a.m. near Dayton, Wyoming. Frances was a passenger in a motorhome traveling west across the Big Horn Mountains on U.S. 14 when Mike, who was driving, had a stroke, causing him to lose consciousness. 

The family’s motorhome crossed the centerline, exited the road hitting a wooden rail fence, before becoming stuck in mud, according to a news report. Fran’s quick actions helped save the lives of family members traveling with the couple. 

“Once Fran realized Mike did not have control. She unbuckled from the passenger seat to grab the wheel. Her actions helped save the lives of her children and grandchildren, but unfortunately, she was killed on impact from the crash,” her family shared in a Facebook post. 

Still hospitalized in Wyoming

Mike was airlifted to Billings, Montana, where he remains unconscious in the ICU at the Billings Clinical Hospital, according to a Facebook post by his family.

Fran and Mike Middaugh. (Facebook)
Fran and Mike Middaugh (Facebook)

“His condition is still critical, and we are praying he will pull through,” the family shared. 

The family describes Fran as “an extraordinary soul—a devoted mother, grandmother, wife, sister, aunt, and friend to all. We will forever cherish the beautiful memories and boundless love she shared with us; we know you will too.”

Middaugh has worked in the motorcoach industry since 1971. He started Coach Quarters in 2004 and has offices in Columbus, Ohio, and Cincinnati.

He combined his love of politics and motorcoaches by helping politicians make their appointed rounds on the campaign trail in his company’s “executive day coaches.”

Among his clients was the late Sen. John McCain, who had three Coach Quarters’ executive day coaches at his disposal during his 2008 presidential campaign. He nicknamed each of them the “Straight Talk Express.”

Middaugh built his business serving corporate clients, small businesses and family or social groups who travel to vacations, weddings, sporting events and concerts, along with school trips.

Built career in conversions

The longtime United Motorcoach Association member has gone out of his way to support other members.

“I also enjoy working with other UMA members as a farm-out, subcontractor, or on a sales commission basis,” he told Bus & Motorcoach News for a 2018 story. 

Mike Middaugh
Mike Middaugh

He has spent decades immersed in the world of buses and coach conversions, both personally and professionally. He became a member of the Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) at 21, likely making him the youngest motorhome owner ever to join the association on his own, according to a 2013 story in familyRVing, the official publication of FMCA.

In 1969, he bought a snub-nosed Carpenter school bus, a 1961 model that was being retired from service in Buffalo, New York, for $1,000, and did a complete conversion over a year. He later sold that and purchased the next of the 10 personal conversion coaches he has owned over the years.

After college graduation, Mike worked for Angola Coach in Angola, Indiana, before embarking on a career in city transit maintenance in Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota. 

In 1990, Mike joined Custom Coach Corp., the original coach converter, in Columbus, Ohio. The company was known as an innovator and creator of luxury RVs from bus shells. Mike performed various roles during his tenure years with the company, among them sales manager, director of service, and general manager of leasing.

Mike Middaugh
Robert Saucedo and his wife, Norma, with Fran and Mike Middaugh. (Courtesy of Robert Saucedo)

When their children were young, Mike and his wife, Fran, began taking many family bus trips, which often were scheduled in conjunction with work commitments.  

UMA Board Member Robert Saucedo, president of Carreras Tours Chino, California, says he got to know Mike and Fran in their 20 Group activities, and developed a friendship with the couple.

“I spoke to them frequently and always made it a point to visit them when passing by Columbus,” said Saucedo. “We became good friends over the years since Mike knew everyone and everything about the motorcoach world. Mike had a passion for motorcoaches and loved driving them as well. This is so sad to have something like this happen to them.”

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