Matteo Rivas took his spot at a candlelight vigil held Thursday night on Harshman Road, near where his "bestest best friend" Hunter White was killed this week in a pedestrian accident.
Hunter was a member of the Wayne High School football team and Rivas began doing his part at the vigil to never forget the young man he met and had befriended since they were in second grade.
Rivas showed up wearing a Wayne Warriors football jersey bearing the last number Hunter wore during his sophomore year when he was a running back.
"I picked up his number this year so I can have that for the varsity, so I can honor him every game," Rivas said. "That was my brother. I have to carry out what he started."
On Saturday afternoon, Rivas, other students, friends and family will gather at Newcomer North Chapel to remember Hunter, whose death the Montgomery County Coroner's Office ruled an accident. According to Riverside police, the 17-year-old was not in a crosswalk when he was hit by a pickup truck on Harshman Road early Monday.
Visitation is scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Newcomer North Chapel, 4104 Needmore Road. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be directed to the Miami Valley Pit Crew or to 3625 Lisbon St., Kettering 45429.
He is survived by his parents, Cheyney and Kelly White; a brother, Brandon; grandparents Jim and Sue Harmes as well as Chris and Paula White; uncles, cousins, many friends and his beloved dogs Kimbo and Ceasar.
Rivas will be among on the football team will honor Hunter by wearing Warriors jerseys to the visitation.
Hunter was a contagious person -- his laugh, his smile, his sense of humor, said Rivas, who said Hunter, like him, would be a senior this fall.
"That man was... he was... he was more than everything. That was my bestest best friend.... That was my brother," Rivas said. "Losing him is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life."
Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to email@example.com