Killed Garner family left lasting impact on friends and neighbors: 'Everybody loved them'

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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Friends praise killed Garner family as 'loving, special, warm'
A neighbor and close friend of the Garner family killed in a car crash is clinging to memories of them that she will forever cherish.

GARNER, N.C. (WTVD) -- A neighbor and close friend of the Garner family killed in a car crash is clinging to memories of them that she will forever cherish.

Allie Oxtoby has known Tyler, Susan and Miles Campbell since they moved into the house next to her in 2021.

"I was pretty excited to see it was young people. This neighborhood hasn't traditionally always been people my age. So I made a bee line over to her, introduced myself, and instantly really liked them," Oxtoby said.

In the years that she knew the Campbells, they bonded over frequent dinners, attended the same church and took family walks together.

Oxtoby and her husband have a 3-year-old son. He and Miles Campbell, 8, often had play dates and enjoyed the family walks.

"Everybody here loved them. They were such good neighbors," Oxtoby said. "They just were so exemplary with building relationships, having their friends over all the time. Like, my husband and I would just marvel about how often they had friends on their back porch, chatting away. How involved they were with our lives, their other friends. They just juggled so many relationships so well."

The Oxtobys were home celebrating their anniversary Monday night when they learned that tragic news about their dear friends.

"Realized that we had several missed calls from Kathy, Tyler's mother. So at that point, one of our other neighbors came over to babysit Jack and we went to the hospital," she said.

Tyler, Susan and Miles were traveling down New Rand Road around 1:30 p.m. Monday when another driver ran a red light and slammed into them. That driver, later identified as Jordan Alexander Porter, was charged with driving while impaired.

Tyler and Susan died in the crash. Miles was rushed to the hospital, but declared brain dead at 6:18 p.m. on Tuesday. He will be an organ donor, according to the family

Miles had just finished his first season in the Pinto League last week. He won the team's "Sportsmanship Award," well-deserved, according to assistant coach Cutler Harris.

"He was kind. He was always upbeat. He was always encouraging," Harris said. "Even when things went poorly ... he was still smiling. It's just a true testament to who he was as a kid."

More than 100 attended a vigil in Garner to remember the Campbell family after Monday's deadly crash.

The Oxtobys remained in the hospital through much of the day Tuesday, hoping that doctors could perform a miracle and save Miles.

"They felt like family to us. We'll continue to remember them when we celebrate holidays, things of that nature. And as unfortuante as it is, we were able to meet some of their other friends who we didn't know, and I think that could become the beginning of other friendships where we could continue to build relationships with people that they loved," Oxtoby said.

History of traffic violations

Court records obtained by ABC11 showed Porter has a lengthy history of traffic violations.

They go back to 2015 and range in severity. Except for two incidents, those charges were all dismissed. The circumstances of the dismissals were not immediately clear.

Porter was charged and pleaded guilty to consuming alcohol under 21 and failure to maintain lane control on New Year's Day 2018. In June 2015, he was found responsible for running a red light as police allege he did Monday. Court records also showed that he just received a speeding ticket for driving 21 mph above the speed limit last month. That case is still working its way through the system.

ABC11 reached out to Porter's mother but did not hear back. ABC11 also reached his wife, who declined to comment about Monday's deadly crash.

Garner Police said additional charges are expected but that will take several days.