IRVINE – Over 100 childhood friends, family members and longtime neighbors gathered Friday on an Irvine sidewalk where a married couple was struck by a car and killed.
Rick Crowell, 65, and Sharon Crowell, 61, were hit by a car on Eastwood on Tuesday morning. Sharon was found beneath the wreckage and was declared dead on the scene by paramedics. Rick was transported to a hospital but died a short time later, officials said.
“My mom was my best friend,” said Tami Crowell, the couple’s daughter, at Friday evening’s vigil. “So, not only did I lose my mother, I lost my best friend, too.”
Tami stood next to her brother Casey as neighbors and friends shared memories of their parents. Many who attended the vigil described Rick as friendly man who volunteered his time with youth football leagues and always greeted everyone, “even if he didn’t know them,” Tami said.
“They were as sweet as can be,” said Bill Tasher, who said he knew Rick for over 20 years growing up in El Segundo. “They loved living here and taking advantage of the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood.”
Friends at the vigil said Rick and Sharon were on their way to the Custom Bodies Fitness gym when the crash occurred. Employees at the gym said police officers came in that morning with the couple’s gym badges to try to identify them.
Authorities said a 17-year-old on his way to school veered onto a walkway lined with bushes. His car struck the couple before coming to a stop against a retaining wall and a tree. He stayed on the scene and cooperated with police after the crash. There are no charges pending against the boy, the Irvine Police Department said.
Several people at the vigil said the boy was a Northwood High School student on his way to school. He wasn’t at school the day after the crash, said M’Lis Fox, whose daughter goes to school with the boy. High school students at the vigil said Advanced Placement testing was scheduled for the day of the fatal crash.
A weeklong fundraiser for the couple’s family will be held starting Monday at Northwood Pizza. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the family, which plans to use it for a memorial near where the couple was killed.
By LAUREN STEUSSY/ ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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