Dave Barnett, a father of five, was traveling down Interstate 70 in Utah, returning home from a family vacation in Moab with his three daughters on July 27, the day after his 20th wedding anniversary.
In an instant, he was gone.
Barnett, for an unknown reason, drove his Toyota 4Runner off the left shoulder of the highway and into a median, according to the Utah Department of Public Safety.
His brother-in-law, James Boley, told KSL TV that the family believes Barnett may have fallen asleep.
Barnett’s car “went off the road and rolled several times,” police said..
The car caught fire, according to a GoFundMe set up for the family.
The 51-year-old Barnett “quietly left this earth after hearing that his daughters had been pulled from the wreckage,” according to his obituary.
One of the three daughters was in serious condition and airlifted from the scene, while the two others were also taken to hospitals, according to state troopers.
“I want him to be remembered for how he lived, you know, he was a man that you can always count on,” Boley told KSL TV.
Others who knew Barnett, like his sister-in-law, took to Facebook to share their grief, wondering why “he had to leave this world when his family needs him the most.”
“Dave Barnett is a big teddy bear of a man with a heart of gold,” she said.
His obituary said he donated his organs.
Barnett grew up in Denton, Texas, north of Fort Worth, according to his obituary. He was an outdoorsman who earned his Eagle Scout award. He also played football at Denton High School and “enjoyed computer gaming and Dungeons and Dragons with his best buddies.”
He loved computers, his obituary said. He would often build them, and others always turned to him for help with technical issues.
Barnett worked in the information technology field at Alsco and went on to work for Western Governors University.
“His keen troubleshooting abilities enabled him to fix almost any problem at home or on-site, and he was renowned for his ‘I can fix that’ motto,” his obituary said.
“He loved his family,” his obituary said. “Dave’s sense of adventure, love of nature and service to the community will live on in the memories of his family and friends.”
This story was originally published August 3, 2022 7:14 PM.