Obituary, Richard W. Moss

Richard William Moss October 11, 1994 – May 25,2017

Richard William Moss, 22, died at about 7:15 a.m., Thursday, May 25, 2017, from injuries sustained in a one vehicle accident on California Highway 1 at Montara State Beach.

This is being written by his loving Dad, Dan Moss

Wow. I never in a million years thought I’d be writing my son’s obituary. Richard was the baby of the family and one of the sweetest people you would ever have known. His loss is such an unnecessary tragedy. He was driving to his work in Moss Beach, CA that fateful Thursday morning after picking up some breakfast at the McDonald’s at Linda Mar in Pacifica, CA. He was driving south on Highway 1 on a stretch of road called Devil’s Slide.

At first, we didn’t know he had crashed and died. My wife, Kathleen and I weren’t notified that he was missing until 6 days after he went missing. We organized searches which brought out the most wonderful people in the world to help find him. The number involved eventually reached into the thousands. On July 13th, we found the wheel to his car on the boulders at the surface of the water on Montara Beach at low tide. The tire on that wheel had the same DOT number as the receipt from the purchase that Richard made for the tire about a year ago.

It appears his car went over a cliff into the ocean over 100 feet below. We’ll never actually know what happened because there are no video cameras in this section of the highway and no witnesses have stepped forward. A simple thing like a guard rail or temporary barrier would have saved his life. As of this writing, we still have not found Richard or his vehicle. We do have proof that he has passed. The evidence includes one of the wheels from his car, part of his front bumper and his AAA Card.

In addition to Richard, a young girl, 20 years old at the time, by the name of Rose also died in the exact same spot in September of last year. In June of last year, another young girl crashed down 150 feet on the mountain side of the same highway, not far from Richard’s death site. She lived, even though the car was crushed, because, as her mother explains, she’s only 5 feet tall. If she was any taller, the crushing car would have broken her vertebrae, ending her life as well. For some reason, CalTrans doesn’t seem to care about these 3 young people even though they claim that traffic safety is their number one concern. I wonder what they would be doing if it was their child that had died or been permanently scarred from a crash at this part of the highway because of no guard rails or temporary barriers.

Richard Moss was born October 11, 1994, in San Mateo, California. He lived in Montara, CA from birth to age 15. He lived in Hawaii from age 15 and graduated from Waialua High School in 2013. In the summer of 2013, Richard moved back to Montara, CA to pursue a career as an electrician.

From birth, Richard was a wonderful human being. Even though he was the baby of the family, we considered him to be an old soul. He was very comfortable in this world and happy to be around others. He was someone that everyone wanted to be around. He had no enemies and not a mean bone in his body. He had many qualities such as he was a trier. He would try different foods and then settle on his favorites like Orange Chicken from Panda Express, Katsu Chicken from L&L Hawaiian or Musubi from the Paalaa Kai Corner Store. He was saddened when the Grass Skirt Grill closed in Haleiwa, HI. He loved their teriyaki cheese fries. In addition to food, he tried different sports growing up and settled on Skateboarding and Roller Hockey. He loved to watch Football and Ice Hockey. Richard and I enjoyed a Raiders Game in September, 2016.

Richard William Moss October 11, 1994 – May 25,2017

Richard had a natural intelligence that in a sweet way led him to do things in an efficient, logical way. In other words, he would think things through so as not have to double back or do things over. This also led him to have no interest in school from the first grade on. It was all Kathleen and I could do to help him graduate from High School and we did it. It was a struggle for us, but as all things with Richard, a nice struggle. No yelling and screaming that normally accompany a parent teenager disagreement. He had such an easy gentle way about him. He would have us do things for him (usually revolving around food) without any fuss. He’d say come on Pops, let’s have Panda Express and even though I didn’t want to, we’d have Panda Express. Even as he was getting older, Richard would come up to me if I was sitting on the couch, on the computer or watching TV and lay his head on my shoulder. I miss that. A lot.

From a young age Richard was always friendly and never confrontational. That’s not to say that he would let his brothers beat on him. He stood up for himself. Richard discovered early on that asking for forgiveness was much better than asking for permission. In some cases, not even letting us know what he was doing. I’ll never forget talking story with one of my friends in Haleiwa, HI. She was proudly showing me a video of her teenage son free diving in caves, actually lava tubes, in an area called Sharks Cove on the North Shore of Oahu. When I was looking closer I noticed that her son’s friend freediving with him looked familiar. It was Richard! What? I couldn’t believe it, but I should have. He loved the adventure and knew that if he had asked me for permission, the answer was more likely to be no than anything or there would be some other restrictions.

He moved to Hawaii to be with me, his dad. That was his sophomore year in High School. After about a week of paperwork he finally started school. I warned him that at the new school, he’s the Hauli from the mainland and he may be eating lunch alone for a week or so. Richard came home from his first day of school and proudly reported that not only did he not eat lunch alone, he had lunch with many new friends, most have now been friends for life. As a testament to his character, all his friends from preschool, grammar school, high school, sports, skateboarding and work are still his friends today. There are countless examples of Richard making friends and just knowing how to make others feel comfortable around him. He was at ease hanging out with adults, friends his own age, children and seniors. It didn’t matter to Richard.

He loved becoming an electrician. Richard’s boss became one of Richard’s good friends and one of his coworkers was his one of his best friends. Richard would typically eat dinner at his boss’ house after a long day at work. Last September Richard and I went to a Raiders game with his coworkers. It was so cool, knowing that Richard was happy in his career and loved his coworkers and we all love the Raiders.

Survivors are many. His Father Dan Moss, Mother Julie Elden, Step-Mother Kathleen Penfold and Hanai Dad Dave Gibbs. Siblings, Tom Spurgeon, Erin & Erik Wurster, William Moss and Nick Moss, Hanai sister & brother Nicole & Brit Espinoza. Other survivors are his Grandmothers, Mildred Grigsby & Gwen Penfold, Grandfather & Grandmother, John & Joan Elden. Uncles and Aunties include Stephen & Laurie Moss, Kevin & Marlene Moss, Beth & Dale Ford, Debbie & Rich Fisher, Lindy Penfold & Joe Norton, Leslie & Terry Lambert, Greg & Cricket Elden and Diana Baca.

Richard William Moss October 11, 1994 – May 25,2017

There are many more survivors. I’m going to list as many as possible. Nieces and nephew, Kaitlyn Wurster, Alexa Wurster, Taylor Wurster & Gavin Wurster. Cousins: Anathea Fitzgerald, Carolina Fitzgerald, Ephraim Fitzgerald, Morgan Fitzgerald, Nabie Haden Espinosa, Elisabeth & Cameron Diegle, Giavanna Diegle, Francesca Diegle, Brigham Diegle, Diana & Samuel Spears, Boston Spears, Bennett Spears, David Moss, Ellen Ford, Emma Ford, Olivia Ford, Brett & Jessi Belvel, Michael Belvel, Megan & Brian Callaghan, Travis & Alexia Fisher, Reed Fisher, Deanna & Sean Fratellone, Amelia Fisher, Carly Fisher, Andrew Fisher, Charley Elden, Keith Elden, Storm Baca and Tricia Elden. As well as many many friends on the Coast in California where he lived recently and in Hawaii. Some of those friends include Kulia Schmidt, Braden Holden, Sunny Berlin, Trevor Cuzick, Eric Brovarney, Devlan Rocha, Stirling Goulet, Willie McCord, Josh Richards, Greg Felde, Jose Cruz, Sylvestre Cruz and many, many more.

In addition, Richard’s extended Ohana (Family in Hawaiian), numbers in the thousands now because the search for him brought us all together.

We wish to thank all of you that have helped in any way to find Richard, when we were unsure of his whereabouts and now that we have focused the search in the ocean. You’ve contributed your time, financially, shared your miles, loaned equipment, vessels, some of you have been injured on the searches and in many other ways. We are overwhelmed by the number of good, solid people that there are in the world and we count ourselves as blessed. We sincerely appreciate everything and we’re glad to count you in as our Ohana.

We will have 2 Memorials/Celebrations of Life. One on August 27th from 12-5 at Long Branch in Half Moon Bay, CA. The other will be at Alii Beach Park in Haleiwa Hawaii on September 10th from 12-5.

In Lieu of Flowers, a donation can be made in Richard’s name to: The Tony Hawk Foundation God bless you all and God bless Richard
Below are some memories of Richard from his loved ones:

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Filed under Board of Supervisors, Carole Groom, Dave Canepa, Dave Pine, Don Horsley, San Mateo County, San Mateo County News, SMCSO Deputy Andy Mar, Warren Slocum

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