Car crashes, community mourns loss
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
August 12, 2009 · Updated 1:21 PM
A 20-year-old North Whidbey man was killed in a one-car accident on E. Fakkema Road early Saturday morning. It was the first fatal car accident in Island County this year.
Cameron Groberg was about a mile away from his home at about 4 a.m. when his car collided with a phone pole, sheering it in half.
Groberg, a 2007 graduate of Oak Harbor High School, was very well known in the community. After his friends found out about the tragedy, the sorrowful multitude congregated at his home Saturday. His father, Vincent Groberg, said parked cars filled the large yard and spilled out all the way down Taylor Road.
"As we sat around and talked about him Saturday night, all his friends made comments about his laugh," Vincent Groberg said. "His laugh was so infectious."
Groberg was a joker with a goofy and creative sense of humor.
"He did things to make people laugh that nobody else would think of," his father said.
Groberg had been working construction on Orcas Island, where his grandparents lived. He was a bright young man and very good at working with his hands. He could build a house, work on his car, create gorgeous pottery pieces or make furniture. He made an entertainment center and a teak coffee table that sits in his parents' home.
"He was very talented and very artistic," Vincent Groberg said.
Deputy Lane Campbell with the Island County Sheriff's Office is investigating the tragic accident. He said Groberg was driving a 1996 Honda Civic eastbound, and for an unknown reason, crossed the centerline and ended up on the westbound shoulder. The car hit a telephone pole head-on.
According to the deputy, there was no indication that Groberg applied his brakes before the car struck the pole.
"He went off the road so gradually. There were no tire marks," Campbell said.
Campbell said the cause of the accident is under investigation and toxicology results won't be available for weeks. He's investigating whether Groberg may have fallen asleep or been distracted when the accident occurred.
Groberg was apparently going home after hanging out with friends in Oak Harbor. There were no witnesses to the accident, but Campbell said Groberg was using his cell phone up until around 4 o'clock. A passerby reported it as 4:28 a.m.
Groberg was wearing a harness when the accident occurred. According to Campbell, Groberg had modified the interior of his car in the style of a racing car, with a roll bar, a four-point harness and a racing-style steering wheel.
Memorial donations may be made to the Cameron Groberg Benefit Fund at Peoples Bank, 275 SE Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor. A short announcement will run Saturday, followed by a full and complete obituary in a later edition. Plans are underway for a service in early September. The family has asked that any communications may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Family and friends are encouraged to sign the online guest register at www.whidbeymemorial.com.Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at email@example.com or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.