Longtime radio personality, "Andy" Preston has died one day after a single-vehicle crash in Lake Park, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.
63-year-old Andrew Roe Preston was in the parking lot of the Pelican Cafe Tuesday night and as he placed the vehicle in drive his longtime partner, Amy Woods, 51, attempted to get in the front passenger seat, investigators said.
The car accelerated knocking Woods to the ground, sideswiped another vehicle, traveled through the parking lot and struck a tree, the sheriff's office said.
When the vehicle stopped, Preston opened the door and fell and struck his head, PBSO said. He died one day later in a hospital, according to a traffic report.
Then Woods sustained a minor injury to her knee.
Preston started at 98.7 The "Gater" almost 28 years ago ironically parting ways on Tuesday.
Former manager at iHeartRadio, Dave Denver says, "I had the great fortune of working with Andy Preston for 18 years. He was a natural born entertainer and story-teller. He lived life to full-capacity, planning every concert event, baseball game, festival trip or vacation that he could squeeze in and as often as he could. The greatest part of all of his personal journeys was the way he shared his experiences with his friends and The "Gater’s" audience. His passion was Rock & Roll and treasured every artist interview and was able to share a story with each of them as they talked, endearing Andy to the stars that made "The Greatest Rock & Roll Ever Made" I will remember him with the same level of stardom as the artists we play on the Gater."
Former co-worker and friend Keith Van Allen remembers, "I worked alongside Andy for 16 years at the "Gater" and through it all, we shared many an adventure: countless concerts, Dolphins games and station promotions (not to mention his legendary Christmas parties!). His passion for the music—especially the Grateful Dead and Allman Brothers Band—was unparalleled and he was a walking encyclopedia of rock n' roll knowledge. There is an old adage that goes, “If you can count your true friends on one hand, you are blessed.” For me, Andy Preston was one of those friends and I was blessed to have known him. He used to call me his brother in rock n roll, but I felt as though we were brothers in every respect. He will be missed. Rock on, Andy. Mahalo…"
Former co-worker and friend Buck McWilliams says, "Andy and I both came to the "Gater" within 3 weeks of each other in January '91. The impact he had on my life from then to now is immeasurable. Like a mentor who was a brother. I've never had a better friend, nor one whose name I used every time I had to give references! "
Jay Zeager, former co-worker, says, "I’ll always be grateful to him for giving me my start and helping shape my career at the "Gater." When you think of 98.7 the "Gater" you think of Andy Preston. He cared deeply about the legacy of the station and will always be remembered as the face and voice of 98.7 the "Gater."
Long-time friend Taylor Morgan says, "Andy gave me my start in radio in the West Palm Beach market in 1996 when I was hired as the evening jock at The "Gater", replacing him....who they moved to the afternoon drive slot. I made a lot of mistakes at the beginning and he never once made me feel that I had done something stupid. His patience and guidance and kindness and generous nature were unlike anything I have ever experienced with anyone else in the radio business in my 20+ year radio career. I will miss him calling me "Tay-Mor" (like J-Lo) whenever I see him. I am just numb."
Symone Ciencin says, "Andy always used to gently tease me about my half-knowledge of Rock n roll (probably about 1/1000th if his) that I got from my dad growing up - but he always taught me new things. And whenever a rock legend stopped by the studio, he always made sure to get an autograph for [my dad]. He was always such a fun guy to chat with and his knowledge and love of music will be missed by all who knew & loved him."
The South Florida Fair said in a statement, "Andy Preston has hosted the South Florida Fair’s Annual Rock Tribute Band Competition for many years.
He loved being part of it every year and the crowd and bands loved having him. He will be greatly missed."
Harley Rhodes, former "Gater" personality posted on Facebook, "Thank you Andy for showing me the ropes into rock n roll, teaching me about classic rock and every bit that that genre encompasses ( when he could have looked at me like that silly girl who knows nothing about classic rock ) For handing me a Rock n Roll encyclopedia when I first started at The "Gater" 98.7 fm . Every night on the air I played an entire album side of a specific artist and always went to Andy for info about that band and was in awe of the plethora of knowledge he had on EVERY band, I tried to stump him.... I never did, he knew it all and was always so willing to share his stories .RIP Andy, you will be missed !!"
98.7 the "Gater" has a tribute page up and plans to do an on-air tribute at 5 p.m. on Thursday.