A father-daughter trip takes a devastating turn for one peninsula family.
Russ Wright's daughter shared with KTVU the last moments she spent with her father during a trip they planned a year in advance.
"He was the best dad in the whole world," said Monica Wright, with her grandmother at her side. "He really was."
The father and daughter duo went on a camping trip every summer.
A favorite destination for the two was Yosemite, where they would go to look for secret swimming spots.
Last Wednesday they found one along the Merced River.
"We only brought goggles and our swimsuit so we could see all the beautiful sights under the water. We stuck our faces in the bubbles. We couldn't see anything else. It was amazing," Monica Wright said.
But the trip turned tragic when her 57 year-old father's foot got caught between two rocks and he couldn't free himself.
There was no cell phone service to call for help.
"I just plopped myself on the highway and stopped traffic," Monica Wright said.
But help came too late for Russ Wright.
"I wish I could have done something to save him," Monica Wright said.
"It's just unbelievable. I can not fathom it," said Elsie Wright, Russ Wright's mother.
Russ Wright was a beloved father, son, brother, teacher and friend, known for his love of music and people.
A childhood disability inspired him to teach gymnastics to others at Palo Alto Community Center.
He also took care of a cancer stricken friend.
"How could we not miss him? We need him," said Moria Peters, Russ Wright's sister. "All the good in me is because of him. I just love him so much," she added.
A public memorial service was planned for Russ Wright Wednesday on August 8 at the Lucie Stern Recreation Center in Palo Alto at 1 p.m.
The family was asking people to bring their laughter in honor of him.
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