Remember Preston Newby

On September 16, 2008, the night was clear and dry when Preston Newby and his wife, Tara traveled along I-5 in Washington State. Suddenly, traffic became chaotic, stopping and swerving so they wouldn’t hit a mighty elk that lay in the middle of the interstate. Along the side of the road was a banged up car with a smashed window.

Preston Newby, 24, a recent alumni of a Portland area Bible college, and Youth Pastor at Lake Bible Church in Lake Oswego, Oregon, new he had to stop and help whoever was in the car that everyone else was leaving behind. Telling Tara they had to stop, she already knew he would dash to help. It’s who he was, and what he did. There’s no way that he would leave some one behind that might have needed assistance.

When Preston looked in the car, he found a 16-year-old driver who appeared to be injured from hitting the majestic animal. Tara watched as her husband followed the calling of God as he checked on the driver and called 911. Something made her look away at the very moment a car veered from hitting the elk, and instead hit her husband. It’s “by the grace of God” she says, that she didn’t actually see him struck.

What she did see was her husband lying in the road. Tara ran to him, and held him as she screamed to God to save his life. Together in Preston’s last moments, the two of them held each other, prayed together, and Tara sang to him to try and ease the horror that seemed to be swallowing them whole. Preston did not survive the impact of the car that hit him.

Everyone who knew him says that he could light up the room, and that he had a way about him that made people want to be around him. He had knowledge of the Lord that seemed far beyond his years. Tara says, “He had this laugh that was just contagious”.

After the series of events that took the life of her husband, Tara’s faith is holding strong. She doesn’t blame the driver of the car that took Preston’s life at all. As a matter of fact, she has forgiven that driver completely. She also isn’t harboring any resentment towards God. She believes that her husband died serving the Lord, and she will continue his legacy.

The love of God doesn’t dwell solely in the walls of the church, and is not bound by rules, but lies within the souls of his followers, and through Him, we find strength. While Preston was here, he spread the word of God, and through his death, he will continue to touch lives.

Preston Newby is survived by his wife, Tara, their 16-month-old son, Jacob, and Tara is ten weeks pregnant with their second child.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 20, 2008 at 2:00 PM at Lake Bible Church. This service is open to the public. Lake Bible Church is located at 4565 SW Carman Drive, near the intersection of I-5 and Hwy 217 in Lake Oswego Oregon. For more information, contact the church at 503-699-9840.

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Comments 3 comments

Jeremy 8 years ago

Thanks for the story of Preston. I went to the same school as He and Tara just a few yeas later. And I know the people in the car who hit Preston. I am praying for all the people involved. I too am a youth pastor.... as I share tonight at YG I will share the story of Preston.

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radgirl 8 years ago from Somewhere in outer space Author

Preston's story hit me hard, even though I didn't know him. I wish more people could share Tara's strenght through this. The world would be a better place. Thank you for reading and sharing.


Pastor Gene Witzky 8 years ago

Preston's G/Grandmother is sister to my Wife Margaret. I wish to Praise God for the amazing testimony about Preston and His surviving widow. I have been a pastor for the past fifty years in the Grace Brethren Fellowship. I am gussing that Preston's Dad, Phil played with my daughters Laurie, Joy and Jennifer at many Christmas gatherings. I join in grieving this tremendous loss and pray that God will be glorified in this tragedy.

Gene and Margaret Witzky (

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