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‘He always made me laugh and smile’: Ada County Paramedics stunned over fallen peer

Courtesy of Ada County Paramedics

To co-workers with the Ada County Paramedics, Kevin Luby was more than just a colleague.

He was family.

And the family is trying to cope with a major loss.

Luby, 42, of Meridian, died in a car crash Tuesday on Interstate 84 in Malheur County, Oregon. According to Oregon State Police, Luby’s Toyota 4Runner went off the road and into the median, where the vehicle then rolled and ended up in the opposite lanes of travel.

Luby was not wearing a seat belt and died at the scene, Oregon State Police said. Texting while driving is being investigated as a possible cause of the crash.

Ada County Paramedics spokesperson Hadley Mayes said the past few days have shaken her and her colleagues. Losing someone like Luby, who “served his life helping other people,” in this manner has made the staff struggle for words, Mayes said.

“We’re having a really hard time. ... For us as an agency its been heart-wrenching,” Mayes told the Statesman. “He was so much more than a colleague to us ... He was just this force of nature. He was compassionate, he was caring (and) he cared about his patients.”

Luby had worked with the Ada County Paramedics since 2005, Mayes said. In addition to being a paramedic, he served as a field training officer and on the special operations staff, tactical team and high-angle rope rescue. He is survived by his wife, Linda, and their 6-year-old son.

A GoFundMe was established by the Ada County Paramedic Employees Association to raise funds for Luby’s memorial. The goal was to raise $2,500; in just a day, $5,000 was raised.

“It’s incredible to see that kind of support from our ally agencies and our community,” Mayes said.

A memorial is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Jan. 21 at the Eagle Christian Church.

“He was incredibly funny ... He always made me laugh and smile,” said Mayes, who worked with Luby for seven years. “He was always the kind of person that would help and you didn’t have to ask. He just had this innate ability of knowing when someone was in need.”

Michael Katz covers breaking news at the Idaho Statesman. He attended the University of Southern California and grew up in Pasadena, California.