A Las Vegas court bailiff drowned earlier this month while tubing in southeast Idaho, authorities said.
William Datthyn, 45, was on the Bear River on Sept. 3 when his tube deflated and he was pulled into rapids, witnesses told the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
Datthyn hit some rocks and his family pulled him from the river, the department said in a statement. Attempts at CPR were unsuccessful.
“He was definitely one of a kind,” said Mark Fernandez, a judicial executive assistant who worked with Datthyn in Family Court. “You can’t really compare him to anyone else.”
District Court spokeswoman Mary Ann Price said Datthyn was employed as a deputy marshal since December 2006.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Adams said Datthyn was in charge of monthly barbecues that the marshal’s office held. On Valentine’s Day, she said, Datthyn would bring roses for female employees.
“Just a nice, pleasant, happy guy,” she said. “Very sad. He will be missed down here.”
Fernandez said much of the time, the man everyone at Family Court called “Marshal Bill” would pay for the barbecues out of his own pocket.
He was a car buff who would help colleagues shop for a new ride by visiting dealerships with them to find a good deal, Fernandez said. Datthyn was also a foodie who would crack jokes and surprise people with breakfast, he said.
“You can definitely feel the sadness in the air,” Fernandez said of the mood around Family Court since the staff learned of his death.
Datthyn’s family did not return phone calls Tuesday.
Mandy McKellar, a family law attorney who had known Datthyn since 2007, said he was a jovial, giving person who was “notoriously early to everything.” When others would show up fashionably late, Datthyn was there 45 minutes early.
He liked happy hours, bringing food to parties and protecting people around him. After going out with friends, he would make sure everyone got to their cars safely, McKellar said.
According to the New York City Police Department, Datthyn retired as an officer in May 2006. McKellar said he would share stories of being a police officer on 9/11.
McKellar said those who knew him will feel his loss for a long time.
“You can feel that he’s not there,” she said.