19-year-old killed in SLO crash remembered as young man with ‘a big heart’

Kyle Sheffield, 19, was passionate about church and volunteering, grandmother says

mfountain@thetribunenews.comFebruary 19, 2014 

Kyle Sheffield

COURTESY PHOTO

Kyle Sheffield, 19, who died over the weekend following a violent car crash in San Luis Obispo, was remembered by family and community members this week as a compassionate, caring and creative young man.

The Paso Robles resident was a 2012 graduate of Atascadero High School and spent a large portion of his free time volunteering and participating in activities at the Atascadero Bible Church, according to his grandmother, Bonnie Sheffield of Atascadero.

He was homeschooled before transferring to Atascadero High School in his senior year and, when he died, was working at a restaurant in San Luis Obispo, she said.

Kyle Sheffield was passionate about his church, playing the guitar and photography — and he was particularly fond of black-and-white landscape photography, his grandmother said.

Atascadero Bible Church Senior High Youth Pastor Adam Weatherby has known Sheffield since baptism about seven years ago and remained close to him through summer camps and church activities. He said Wednesday that Sheffield was a quiet kid, friendly to all people and often described by others as sweet.

“One thing about Kyle is he had a tremendous heart for the homeless in our community and the ECHO homeless shelter (in Atascadero), and for those who didn’t have what he had,” Weatherby said. “He had a great group of friends and a big heart.”

Weatherby added that Sheffield was involved with the church throughout his teenage years, including mission trips to the inner city of Los Angeles and to Costa Rica.

According to the CHP, at about 12:15 p.m. Friday, as Sheffield was driving his four-door Honda sedan south on South Higuera Road, he suddenly veered off the road, over a guardrail, and traveled about 400 yards before striking a fence and a tree and crashing down an embankment into San Luis Obispo Creek. He suffered major head injuries in the accident and was taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.

The CHP does not suspect alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident, and it remains unknown why his vehicle left the road. His organs were donated for transplant, Bonnie Sheffield said, so no autopsy was performed.

As of Wednesday evening, the CHP did not have any updates on the investigation.

A memorial service will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Atascadero Bible Church at 6225 Atascadero Mall. The public is welcome to attend, according to his family.

“It’s going to be a celebration of Kyle’s life, which, although in our terms it’s a life cut short, it was a life well lived, and we want people to know that,” Weatherby said.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, attendees make a donation to Atascadero’s ECHO shelter, Kyle Sheffield’s favorite local charity.

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