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Woman remembered a angel

F.T. Norton, Appeal Staff Writer

There are 101 ways to describe the generous heart of Kelly Berry, her family will say. But the reaccuring theme in her short life was she was an “angel.”

Berry, 24, was struck by a truck on Wednesday evening as she and her husband, Darin, 25, paused on Toll Road to look at the sunset near their Virginia Foothills home.

The two were returning from their evening jog when a truck driven by John Hyde, 39, of Reno, crossed the lanes and struck them from behind.

Hyde had been involved in a single-vehicle accident earlier in which he rolled his Subaru in Reno. He told police he’d sneezed while driving.

Kelly Berry died at the scene.

Darin Berry, a firefighter with the Storey County Fire Department, is listed in good condition at the Washoe Medical Center with leg injuries.

DeAnna Guthrie, of Carson City, said her cousin Kelly was the kind of person you wish you were.

“I think God really put her here for a purpose — to remind us to be nicer to each other,” she said. “She honestly was the nicest person I know. She never had an unkind word for anybody.”

A graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, Berry received her degree in criminal justice in 2001. She worked for Washoe County courts. She and Darin Berry were married April 19 in Las Vegas. The couple had just bought their first home together only a short distance from where the accident happened.

Cousin Dan Gunzburg, of Carson City, said Berry would do anything for anyone.

He’d lived with her family in Susanville while he attended high school there.

“She was a sister to me,” he said. “Even though I’m older, I looked up to her. She had everything going for her. She was the sweetest girl you’d ever meet, no matter what the mood, there was always that smile.”

Now, Gunzburg said, the family impatiently awaits some word from investigators into what caused Hyde’s borrowed truck to careen across two lanes of travel.

“We’re really left in the dark here,” he said. “We’re not getting any information. If it was truly an accident, fine, but I want some serious investigation done to prove that to me, only because of the accident before. He may have been on medication from that.”

Funeral arrangements for Berry haven’t been made yet. Guthrie said the Storey County Fire Department is helping with plans but no decisions will be made until Darin can participate.

She said she finds solace in Berry’s last moments.

“She got to enjoy her last minute on earth looking into a beautiful sunset, which she loved, in the arms of the man that she loved,” she said. “Kelly reminded all of us to be better people.”

Berry is survived by her parents Randy and Janice Tassi, sister Angel Russell, brother Ted Tassi, grandmother Dorothy Tassi and aunt Christine Reed.

The Storey County Fire Department has set up an account to help offset medical and funeral costs.

The Darin L. Berry Medical Fund Trust is at Bank of America, account No. 004967322144.