NAPLES — Darren Kelly, who was killed in a single-car accident on Sunday, is being remembered as someone who was always smiling and making people laugh. Now, his wife is concerned about construction and other drivers safety on Interstate 75.
The 41-year-old Golden Gate Estates husband and father was a warm, loving person with a great sense of humor, his wife Alexandra Kelly said.
“He was a wonderful husband and a good father,” Alexandra Kelly said.
Besides his wife of 20 years, he is survived by two sons, Brandon, 9, and Christopher, 13.
Darren Kelly, a native of Liverpool, England, owned Ark Charters Inc., a charter bus company, and volunteered with Royal Rangers and his church First Assembly Ministries. He loved to fish.
Darren Kelly would regularly take seniors of First Assembly Ministries on day trips on his buses.
“He was a very nice fellow and we always had a lot of fun with him,” said Lloyd Gabourel, 86, a member of First Assembly Ministries.
If Darren Kelly couldn’t take the day trip, Gabourel said he would send another driver.
“I could count on him for anything,” Gabourel said.
Those who knew Darren Kelly say his sense of humor always brought a smile to others.
“He always made people feel special,” Alexandra Kelly said.
Darren Kelly died in a single-car crash on Interstate 75 on Sunday afternoon. He died after losing control of his 2002 Land Rover near mile-marker 105 in the northbound lanes, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
He was in the outside lane just after 1 p.m. and veered off into uneven pavement, which is a result of the iROX widening project under construction on the interstate, according to the FHP report. Darren Kelly then over-corrected his Land Rover, veered across the lanes and struck the steel cables in the median. The SUV overturned several times and Darren Kelly, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected, according to the report.
Darren Kelly was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“I’m pretty sure that the uneven lanes of the pavement caused my husband to correct his steering,” Alexandra Kelly said.
If those roads haven’t been inspected, Alexandra Kelly said activity needs to stop.
David Parks, spokesman for the iROX project, said there is still a lot of work to be done and drivers need to continue driving with precaution in the work zone, which includes uneven roads.
Darren Kelly’s family members who live in England are trying to make arrangements to fly to Naples.
Alexandra Kelly gave away tickets for a Miami Dolphins game that Darren Kelly was going to attend with his oldest son. The family gave the tickets to the local Christian station Praise FM 89.5 so they could give them away in memory of Darren Kelly, Alexandra Kelly wrote in an e-mail.
He loved to help out during Share-a-thon at the radio station, Alexandra Kelly said.
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Connect with Tracy X. Miguel at www.naplesnews.com/staff/tracy_x_miguel/