Santa Rosa man killed by suspected hit-and-run driver ‘touched every soul he came in contact with’
Michael John Campbell was on the way to see the love of his life when he died.
Campbell, 25, of Santa Rosa, was struck and killed by a suspected hit-and-run driver early Friday. Police say Daniel Joseph Bazzoli, 42, of Santa Rosa, turned himself in hours after the 1:20 a.m. crash on Highway 12, just west of Middle Rincon Road.
Campbell, an apprentice electrician, was walking to visit Victoria Kirchanski when he was struck by a blue midsize pickup. The couple had been together for more than seven years, and had lived together for most of that time.
They were 19 when Campbell first moved in with Kirchanski’s family, who quickly adopted him as one of their own.
“He’s been a part of my family since the day they met him. My parents genuinely saw him as a son,” Kirchanski said. “He was very much loved by his family. He was very, very loved.”
She described Campbell as “unbelievably charming and charismatic,” and said he always put her before himself.
“The way he talked to me, he always made me feel like I was the most important person in the world,” she said. “The way he looked at me, it was like I was the only person he saw.”
Campbell was a math whiz who could “calculate a ridiculous amount of numbers all in his head like nothing,” Kirchanski said.
He also was an animal lover. Kirchanski said they adopted their dog, Zeus, and she fostered kittens, “which was always dangerous with Michael because that meant we were ending up with a new pet.”
Her mother, Pattie Kirchanski, said Campbell was outgoing and gregarious, a generous man who would help others every chance he got.
“He would give anything to anyone in need,” she said. “I loved Michael John Campbell from the minute I met him. He was the sweetest teenager I’ve ever met. Through the years I got to enjoy his sense of humor, big heart, love for life and his family.”
A “smart and witty” man who excelled at working with his hands and understood complicated electronic gadgets, Campbell loved to lend a hand around the house whenever there was a need, she said.
“He never met a car, laptop, phone, home construction, plumbing or electric job he could not do. He was so brilliant,” Pattie Kirchanski said.
Her son, Will Kirchanski, said Campbell was “a goofy ball of love and fear.” Campbell maintained a child’s sense of wonder and shared of himself freely with his many friends, he said.
“He was scared of the dark and terrified of doctors and dentists,” he said. “Going through his room we found Pokemon dolls from his childhood along with comic books and baseball cards.”
Victoria Kirchanski said Campbell was unlike anyone she’d ever met. She fears she will never get over the grief of losing him.
“The day he died, the world got a lot smaller and so much quieter,” she said. “He could always bring me to giggles at 2 a.m., and talk me to sleep with his stories.
She added, “He’s touched every soul he came in contact with, and the memories he left behind aren’t nearly enough.”