A 25-year-old West Tisbury man was killed Monday when the car he was driving collided with a tree on Old County Road.
David S. Campbell, often called Davey, was a 2007 graduate of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, where he was remembered this week as a gifted athlete who was “universally loved.”
“He was a wonderful person all around,” said Damon Burke, the varsity soccer coach who was an assistant coach when Mr. Campbell was in high school and also coached him in youth soccer. “He was an incredible athlete . . . a beautiful athlete. He was graceful even though he was strong. He made it look effortless.”
Mr. Burke said Mr. Campbell and his soccer teammates were still close, and Mr. Burke spoke with several of them this week.
“He had a huge heart,” he said of Mr. Campbell. “He was a very empathetic kid . . . he could see what was going on with other people, and be a good friend, be a good teammate. I’m so broken-hearted.”
Mr. Campbell was traveling northeast on Old County Road in a green 2004 Honda Accord when the car went across the roadway near Skiffs Lane and hit a tree, according to the West Tisbury police department. The incident happened at about 3:15 p.m. on Monday.
Mr. Campbell was the sole occupant of the vehicle and he died at the scene, police said.
The West Tisbury fire department and Tri-Town ambulance were also dispatched, and Massachusetts State Police, Chilmark Police and Tisbury police assisted at the scene. The Massachusetts State Police Accident reconstruction team came to the scene as well, the police said. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
West Tisbury police chief Dan Rossi told the Gazette Wednesday that “speed was a factor” in the crash, but beyond that, the investigation is continuing.
There will be a memorial service on Sunday, Oct. 13, at 1 p.m. at the Agricultural Hall on State Road in West Tisbury. Family and friends are invited to a period of fellowship from 11:30 a.m. until the beginning of the service.
Mr. Burke said the high school soccer team is working on a way to honor Mr. Campbell for the rest of the season, perhaps with armbands or having the team wear a special number. Six years after Mr. Campbell graduated, some of the students knew him and others did not. “But they all hear about him,” Mr. Burke said. “I bring him up a lot . . . ‘try to do this like Davey Campbell.’”
“He was a kid that made everyone smile,” high school hockey coach Matt Mincone said. He said Mr. Campbell’s nickname was Hollywood, and he had a smile and a sense of humor.
Mr. Mincone, also a West Tisbury police lieutenant who responded to the scene of the crash, searched for the right way to describe the mature kid who fit in easily with the team and “just lit up the place.”
“Charisma,” he said. “He just had that.”
He said the hockey community has gathered for support this week. Both coaches praised the Campbell family.
“I remember him with a smile because that’s the way he would’ve wanted it,” Mr. Mincone said. “It’s just tragic, but I’ll just remember the good times we had. And there’s a lot of them. It’s easy.”
“I just think Davey is going to be one of those guys people are talking about for a long time.”