Bob Barry Jr, a sports director for KFOR in Oklahoma City, died in a car accident Saturday afternoon. The sportscaster was being remembered at public memorial service Friday, according to KJRH.
Barry was riding a motor scooter southbound on North May when police say Gustavo Gutierrez-Castillo, 26, unlicensed driver made an illegal U-Turn in front of him. Police say Bob was struck near Memorial and North May Avenue in downtown Oklahoma City.
Police have arrested the driver of the car for manslaughter, driving without a state license and causing an injury accident. Police also say he was in possession of cocaine.
Bob Barry Jr hit the driver’s side of the car and was thrown over 20 feet. He was not wearing a helmet.
Barry was rushed to OU Trauma Center where he was pronounced dead. As reports were circulating about Bob, Sam Presti finally emerged from his draft night war room, a touch after midnight, to discuss the newest members of the Oklahoma Thunder.
But before fielding questions, Presti wanted to acknowledge the recent passing of Bob Barry Jr. His full statement:
“One thing before we get started,” Presti began. “Obviously there is someone missing from the room tonight, Bob, and I think it would be inappropriate for me to just begin talking without acknowledging the loss that the community has endured with his passing. Just one thing I thought I wanted to touch on in regards to that before we get started talking about tonight, when I got the news of the events, obviously it is really sad because we have all come to know him and I am obviously new to the area to some degree, but it really made me think about the role that all of you guys play in communities all over the place.
Presti said Bob Barry Jr delivered sports to him when he was a kid. Barry was using a different name when he worked in Massachusetts.
“Immediately, the thing that struck me was that I thought about the person that delivered sports news to me when I was a kid. That guy’s name, I will never forget, on Channel 4 WBZ in Massachusetts was Bob Lobel. He had a huge impact in my appreciation and enthusiasm for sports. I really believe that I waited, if I was allowed to stay up late enough at night, to have him tell me about Wade Boggs or Dwight Evans or Robert Parrish or Ray Bourque or all these different people and I think that it grows the appreciation for sports in young people and people all over the place. As much as they are reporters, I also think that people like yourselves are really communicators that have a huge influence on people that follow sports. Obviously, it is a tremendous loss, but I also think it is an opportunity to kind of reflect a little bit on what those people do in terms of introducing people to sports on a much different level.”
Bob Barry Jr joined KFOR in 1982 as the station’s weeknight sports anchor. Prior to that he worked as sports anchor at KAUZ-TV in Wichita Falls, Texas.