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By Miriam Raftery

December 1, 2023 (Campo, CA)—Austin Nathaniel Spirz, a 26-year-old Campo father of three, died at the scene of a crash on Nov.23 at 5:28 p.m. on Sheridan Road near Custer Road in Campo. Spirz was on his way home on his Kawasaki motorcycle, with his life’s partner and children  following close behind him, when a Jeep Wrangler crossed over the center lines and struck  his motorcycle.

“I don’t know how to live life without him,” Aubree Pinkston, his partner of 10 years, told ECM news partner 10 News.

Pinkston and the couple’s children drove up to find Austin Spirz dead at the scene. “His body had to be identified by his father and mother-in-law ,Brandie Pinkston,” Debi Gonzalez at the Backcountry Trading Post told ECM in an email. “The Spirz family has suffered great losses, because their other son, Josh, was also killed this year in an accident. This tragedy has hit our community hard.”

Michelle Sweetman has set up a GoFundMe site to help the victim’s family.  A MealTrain site has also been established to provide meals for the Spirz household.

“He leaves behind his wonderful daughters’ mom and life partner, Aubree, and three small, beautiful daughters,” Sweetman posted. “I put this together to help them so they don’t have to worry about financial obligations right now, as they are just trying to get this very difficult and shocking time. This family has endured so much sadness and just lost their brother not too long ago.  Austin was a good young man, very hard-working and cared about his family very much. I’m asking you to say a prayer for them and if you can, please donate because nothing is too small and please share.”

The driver of the Jeep fled the scene, but was arrested the next day at his home in Campo, according to the California Highway Patrol. Gary Baker, 45, pleaded not guilty to felony hit-and-run causing death. He was released on bail and ordered to remain home except for going to work or court, Times of San Diego reports. He faces up to four years in prison if convicted.


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