Daniel “Trevor” Gross had a big heart, a generous spirit and always wanted to see the best in others. He was very creative. He loved music and spent much of his time playing the guitar and composing his own songs. He was very proud of the guitar he had refurbished and he loved to make CD’s for his family as gifts. He was also a gifted artist and expressed himself through his drawings, photography and pottery.
Trevor was always up for an adventure, whether it be kayaking the Nolichuckey with his family, exploring the mountains, taking a dive in the lake, or snowboarding down the mountain. He was an avid skateboarder too and quite accomplished at it.
Trevor hoped to one day be a BMW mechanic. He loved vintage BMWs! In fact, he owned two of them that he bought himself. He spent many hours daily tinkering with his car and was proud of being able to fix it on his own.
Trevor had a very special relationship with his siblings. Being five and ten years older than them, he was assigned the duty of picking them up after school. He would always get them a drink and a snack, something he did on his own. When she was younger, Trevor carried his little sister everywhere she went. He was always her protector.
But on January 26, 2015, everything changed. Trevor’s parents, Chris and Alice Chamberlain awoke to the sound of someone knocking on their door. Alice recalls, “The whole living room was lit up in blue and I just knew it was about Trevor.” Police informed her that Trevor had been killed in a crash. The car had hit a ditch and flipped. The driver was later found to have a .20 BAC. Alice can’t remember much about what the officers said in that moment or what they looked like. She only remembers someone handed her Trevor’s wallet.
Alice says she couldn’t breathe when she heard the news. “I don’t think I stopped crying for months,” she recalls. But the worst part was telling her daughter. “I never want to remember the sounds that came out of that child.”
Now that Trevor is gone, the family has continued the tradition of getting a drink and snack after school. “They do that for each other, a sweet precedent that Trevor set,” said Alice. “We still cherish the CDs he loved to make for us as gifts.”
Trevor also had a little boy, Keaston, who was two-years-old when his father died. Keaston was too young to remember Trevor and all he has now are pictures. Keaston has been left without his father and still asks what happened to his dad.
Years later, they are still haunted by the tragedy. “We are shells of our former selves in many ways.” Alice talks about the drastic impact the loss has had on their physical and mental health. She says her children and nephew were terrified of driving. For her, the sight of blue lights or a random knock on the door starts her heart pounding and sends her into a panic with thoughts of “What now?” or “Who’s dead?”
Five long years after the crash, the man responsible for their son’s death was convicted of Vehicular Homicide. Finally putting an end to the court process, Trevor’s parents were there when he was sentenced, in February 2020, to 10 years for the crime.