Robert Ivey, known for helping others and making them happy, was hauling a red car on a trailer when the truck he was driving ran out of gas Sunday evening.
He had repaired the car in Hammond, Louisiana, and borrowed a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado and a trailer from his friend and part-time employer, Timothy Bolling.
Ivey, 22, of Gulfport, was a fix-it kind of guy who enjoyed mechanic work and electronics.
While bringing the car home, he became stranded on Interstate 10 near Pass Christian when the truck ran out of gas. He came up with a solution.
“He unloaded the red car and drove it to my house to pick up a gas can and some cash and went back to put gas in my truck,” Bolling said.
Ivey was pouring gas in the truck’s fuel tank when he was struck by a vehicle during a three-vehicle crash, according to Mississippi Highway Patrol spokesman Chase Elkins.
Ivey died at the scene of the crash, Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said.
Those who knew and loved Ivey are shocked and filled with sadness, said Bolling, who spoke of Ivey as a friend, not as a part-time worker at Bolling’s home mechanic shop.
Ivey was the type of friend who enjoyed being around others and helping others, Bolling said.
“He was a great person and he was willing to help anyone,” he said. “He would go above and beyond to make sure the next person is happy.”
Ivey also loved working on boats, and he worked at a boat shop in Hammond, Bolling said.
When Ivey wasn’t working in Hammond, he worked and “hung out” at Bolling’s mechanic shop. Ivey would help Bolling with mechanic work and other projects and would just enjoy passing time.
Bolling said he will miss Ivey’s presence most of all.
“I would of rather my truck-trailer and his car be gone than him. I can replace all of that but I can’t replace him,” Bolling said. “I will miss his appearance, period.”
Ivey’s grandfather, George Ivey, described him as “very mild-mannered” and a likeable young man.
“He was a really great kid,” the grandfather said. “I just can’t imagine him dying like this. I raised my sons and we always had several vehicles and it wasn’t unusual for one of them to run out of gas. We just got a gas can and some gas it was no problem at all.”
His parents, Chris Ivey and Peggy Ivey, were working on funeral arrangements Monday.
“They are taking it real hard, along with Robert’s brother, Timothy Ivey, and his sister, Aryana Ivey,” George Ivey said.
Robert Ivey attended Harrison Central High School and Long Beach High School.
The fatal crash occurred about 8:50 p.m. near the 24 mile-marker, which is the Menge Avenue exit.
The driver accused of causing the three-vehicle collision and striking him has been arrested on a charge of driving impaired in a crash causing death. Michael Joseph Kennedy, 27, of Biloxi, was jailed early Monday.
Kennedy’s sport utility vehicle hit Ivey and the red car and collided with the pickup truck, the MHP spokesman said.