Friends remember former Parkite who died in Idaho boating accident | ParkRecord.com
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Friends remember former Parkite who died in Idaho boating accident

Friends are remembering a Park City High School graduate who died in a July 3 boating accident at Lake Pend Oreille near Sandpoint, Idaho.

Former Park City resident Darby Campbell, 30, and his wife, 34-year-old Amber Campbell, died at the scene of the crash, the authorities say.

The 21-foot Malibu wakeboarding boat Darby Campbell was operating collided with the U.S. 95 Long Bridge.

"There are a lot of ways to get under the Long Bridge, but every second or third set of pilings they have cross beams for support," Bonner County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Anker Rasmussen said. "They ran into the cross beams."

The crash occurred at about 11:22 p.m., after a fireworks display on the beach. Darby and Amber Campbell were near the front of the boat when the vessel struck the bridge.

"It tore the boat tower apart and also took off the windshield," Rasmussen said in a telephone interview. "The bow ran into one of the bridge pilings and their death was instantaneous."

Another passenger in the boat, a 31-year-old man, was injured in the crash, Rasmussen said.

Speed was likely a factor in the accident, he added.

"The speed limit at night on the lake is 25 mph, and they were doing 40 or more," Rasmussen said.

He said results from toxicology testing could determine whether alcohol contributed to the accident.

"It was excessive speed and inattention to detail," Rasmussen said. "For some reason I think they were distracted a few minutes before the impact."

The Campbells lived about three miles outside of Sandpoint. Darby would have turned 31 years old on July 6. He was raised in Summit County and graduated from Park City High School in 1997.

Park City resident Heidi Cannella graduated with Campbell. She described him as friendly and enthusiastic.

"There were no ‘clicks’ or ‘groups’ with Darby. He was just Darby," Cannella said. "He was a good person, in the truest sense of the word, and was always the guy who saw the best in others so much so that you couldn’t help but like anyone that Darby introduced you to, even if it was someone you may not have had an interest in spending time with."

She and Campbell were unable to coordinate a meeting last time he visited Park City.

"We were trying to arrange our schedules so that I could meet his wife and he could meet my husband," she said. "But we never got the chance to meet up and I will always regret not trying harder to make it happen."

Former Park City resident Eric Wing said Campbell was one of his closest friends.

"When you were with Darby you didn’t just laugh, your whole body convulsed. Tears would well up in your eyes, and sweat would drip from your forehead," Wing said. "He would make you laugh so hard that you physically couldn’t let out another giggle without hurting yourself or others around you."

Parkite Adam Buchanan moved to Park City in 1995. At the high school, Campbell was one of the first people he met.

"[Campbell] was definitely an inspiration to everybody and he touched a lot of lives," Buchanan said. "He is one of those people who lived each day to the fullest."

Campbell resided in Park City for a while after graduation.

"I’m heartbroken," Buchanan said. "I can’t believe it happened to him."


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