Mountain View Voice

News - April 2, 2010

Crash victim was football star, soldier

Funeral services held Thursday for 21-year-old Kyle Simpson

by Daniel DeBolt

The 21-year-old Mountain View man who died in a solo car crash in Cupertino early Friday morning was a well-liked former football star at Los Altos High School who possibly fell asleep at the wheel.

Kyle Simpson had just returned home from Army training before the crash. On the night of the accident, friends say, he had just left his job as a security guard at a South Bay bar and grill and was still adjusting to the time difference from his travels. At around 2 a.m. he lost control of his Ford SUV, which rolled multiple times on northbound Highway 280 in Cupertino.

On the Voice's Town Square, friends described Simpson as "an amazing person whose life was cut way too short." People fondly used nicknames — "Pinky" and "Big Red" — and friend Shannon Ingersoll said Simpson's "contagious smile, red hair and freckles will always be missed."

"He was just an awesome human being," said Loura Kobza, mother of one of Simpson's close friends. "He touched every person he came across. Life is not going to be the same without Kyle."

Many faculty and students at Los Altos High mourned his passing, including former teacher Betty Ewing, who said she had plans to meet him for dinner this week. On Friday night, Simpson's friends gathered to pay him tribute on the side of Highway 280 where the crash occurred.

At 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, Simpson played three years of varsity football at Los Altos High and played briefly for San Jose Community College. He joined the Army after one year of college and attained the rank of specialist. On his Facebook page, where he had 596 friends, he is pictured proudly in his Army fatigues.

Funeral services were scheduled for Thursday, April 1 at 10 a.m. at Cusimano Colonial Mortuary at 96 W. El Camino Real. Visitation was held the day before.

Any witnesses to the crash are asked to contact California Highway Patrol Officer Amber Cardenas at (408) 467-5400, ext. 302.

E-mail Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

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