DESTIN — Shane Reynolds, Destin resident and former producer/host at National Geographic Wild and Travel Channel, recently published a tribute video to honor the memory of his friends Bob Brown and Meredith Snow.
Brown and Snow died in a traffic crash on Friday Aug. 31, 2018 at the intersection of County Road 283 and U.S. Highway 98 in South Walton County.
The video appeared on Facebook this week and has been widely shared by friends and family.
"This is the hardest video I've ever had to edit. If you know Bob and Meredith, then it's very hard to watch as well. But it is therapeutic. For those that made it to Harbor Docks yesterday, THANK YOU. It was overwhelming. #love," wrote Reynolds.
ORIGINAL STORY: Published Sept. 3, 2018
DESTIN — A well-known and much-loved Destin couple is being mourned following their deaths late Friday night in a traffic accident on U.S. Highway 98 and County Road 283 in South Walton.
Robert Michael Brown, 43, and his wife, 44-year-old Meredith Margaret Snow, were traveling east on U.S. 98 when the wreck occurred at about 11:45 p.m. Friday, as another vehicle ran through a red light. The couple was on their way to a family gathering in Port St. Joe to go scalloping, in order to get an early start on Saturday, according to Brown’s brother, Clint Brown.
The couple’s dog, a Husky named Kalani, also perished in the crash.
Bob Brown was an integral part of BOTE, a local paddleboard enterprise with a national presence, and Snow had recently retired from her job as a music teacher at Emerald Coast Middle School in Santa Rosa Beach.
Corey Cooper, CEO and owner of BOTE, has known Brown for 15 years as a friend and business associate, and also knew Snow.
“They were the high-water mark of what it takes to be a great human being. It’s tough losing both of them at the same time,” Cooper said Monday.
The driver of the second vehicle, who was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, has been identified as 21-year-old Dustin Lee Dupree of Freeport. The passenger in his vehicle, 25-year-old Brittany Elaine Spires of DeFuniak Springs, was taken from the accident scene by helicopter to Bay Medical Center in Panama City. Spires remained in critical condition on Monday, according to the hospital’s nursing supervisor.
Corey Dobridnia, public information officer for the Walton County Sheriff’s Office and a friend of the Destin couple, was on the accident scene for more than three hours from Friday night into Saturday morning.
“It was one of the worst crashes I’ve ever been to,” she said. Dobridnia described the couple as “selfless.
“They really were the best people,” she said.
Snow was being remembered fondly on Monday by a former student, LeeAnn Ivey, now a 21-year-old environmental science student at the University of West Florida.
“She was such a ray of sunshine for me in middle school,” Ivey said. Snow taught her to love music, Ivey added.
“She planted this seed that is going to stay with me for life,” Ivey said. “I just consider myself so lucky to have had her.”
According to Cooper, Bob Brown “was instrumental in helping us launch the (BOTE) brand.”
“I’m dreading getting the business together on Tuesday morning,” he said.
As a person, Brown “brought a ton of life to everyone around him,” Cooper said.
A native of the area and a graduate of Fort Walton Beach High School, Brown earned a degree in computer graphics from the University of Florida. Clint Brown, the retail sales manager at BOTE, described his younger brother as “very driven, very focused.”
“He’s probably the most self-sufficient of our entire family,” Clint Brown said.
According to Cooper, the couple was restoring an old house on Calhoun Avenue in Destin. Scaffolding from the painting they were doing remained in place during the weekend as friends gathered for an impromptu vigil, Cooper said.
“They were living the dream,” said Clint Brown.
Funeral arrangements for the couple are pending, Clint Brown said.
The accident remains under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. Dobridnia deferred to the FHP for comments on the circumstances surrounding the wreck.
“It’s still under investigation,” said Lt. Eddie Elmore, public information officer for the FHP in Northwest Florida on Monday, adding that information on the circumstances of the wreck will be released as it becomes available.