Friends Remember Teen Who Took Wheel In Crash

Friends Remember Teen Who Took Wheel In Crash

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PHILADELPHIA -

It's tragic news that people in one community can hardly believe: A 17-year-old on the way back from working on his Eagle Scout project killed in a car crash. Investigators say Chris Alvelo died trying to protect others.

Monday marks a very difficult return to school for Alvelo's classmates. But people in his community have already started the painful process of saying goodbye.

FOX 29's Dave Kinchen reported that mourners have been gathering at a memorial where Alvelo died in a crash Saturday. And we're learning more about actions the 17-year-old took to save others in a crash that ultimately killed him.

"He was a hero. He didn't hesitate for a second," Susan Foremski, Alvelo's aunt, who says he died as he lived, serving others before himself."

She says he did not think twice about taking the wheel of this pickup truck when his step father blacked out during a medical emergency, leaving the roadway.

"He just took his seatbelt off and steered that car out of the way, out of danger, and he saved four people's lives," Foremski said.

Their truck hit a parked van, which then smashed into the North Philadelphia Jet Center.

Chris was with three other teenagers coming back from an Eagle Scout event at Pennypack Park. In fact, a photo of Chris cleaning up a pond was taken moments before the crash that killed him.

Family members say he just completed a big requirement with his troop.

"Chris was such a good kid. He just finished his project. Yesterday was supposed to be a happy day, and it's so bad," said Shelby Curran, the victim's cousin.

"He was such – I'm sorry – a wonderful kid. So respectful," said another.

Friends of his gathered Sunday around a growing memorial at Red Lion and Norcom roads, where he died.

Many were Alvelo's fellow seniors, who were looking forward to graduating with him as a part of the New Foundations Charter High School's first ever senior class.

"Chris was supposed to be the first one walking down the aisle because he was the first alphabetically in our class," said Savanna, one of his classmates. "Now he's just not going to be there, and we already took senior pictures. He was already excited about everything we were planning this year."

Now classmates are getting ready for what will be a difficult day back at school come Monday.

"Every morning I would run over to his table and sit with him, and now it's like, I'm going to just go in and, I'm just at a loss for words," said another classmate, Kacey Kilpatrick.

Grief counselors will be at the school Monday when students come back to class, and a special vigil will be held at the school at 7 p.m. Monday to honor Alvelo's memory Kinchen, reported.

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