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Man killed in Irvine crash was well-known in local sports community

March 14, 2013|From the Los Angeles Times

A 65-year-old Irvine man who police say was struck and killed by a teenage driver on his way to school was an avid volunteer who was well-known in the area’s athletic community.

Rick Crowell, and his wife, Sharon Crowell, 61, were killed Tuesday morning while walking on Eastwood near the Venta Spur trail in Irvine. A Honda driven by a 17-year-old veered off the residential street and plowed into the couple, police said. The accident is still under investigation.

After the couple’s son, Casey, started at Northwood High School in 1999, Rick Crowell became a familiar fixture at football games. He became an “unofficial” staff member for the athletic department by filming football games, compiling statistics and manning the athletic program’s website, wrote Rick Curtis, Northwood High School’s head football coach in a letter.

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“Rick was an amazing friend to me and needless to say, he was a role model to all of us on how to serve your community,” Curtis wrote.

Even after Crowell’s son graduated, he continued to spend hours on Saturday mornings preparing tapes and DVDs for the football coaches -- work that  was often done behind the scenes. 

“He liked all of the computer work,” said Dean Toohey, the athletic director at Northwood High. “He would spend hours doing that, sometimes all night.”

In 14 years, the only time Crowell missed filming a game was when he took his wife on a vacation for her birthday.

“The two of them were inseparable as they would be seen together throughout the community,” Curtis said in his letter.

Crowell graduated from El Segundo High School in 1965 and pursued a career in information technology. He retired as a senior computer scientist in 2003, according to an alumni newsletter for El Segundo High School. 

Recently, Crowell managed an apartment complex in Long Beach.

The cause of the accident is still undetermined.

This story was reported by Times Staff Writer Nicole Santa Cruz.

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