Reporting Derek Valcourt
OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ)—A Towson University student and Howard County native gone in an instant. Ocean City police say the drunk driver who hit him never stopped.
Derek Valcourt spoke with the victim’s friends, who are outraged.
Matthew Cheswick, 22, smiled so much he’d earned the nicknames “Smiles” and “Cheese.”
“He had the eternal smile and he carried that in everything that he did,” said Jean Parker.
“Just incredibly happy. He touched so many people’s lives. It’s just a shame we lost him,” said Doug Parker.
Hundreds who knew the Howard County native are grieving over news that Cheswick was struck and killed in Ocean City early Monday as he crossed Coastal Highway at 54th Street with a group of friends.
“He hated drunk driving. He was walking across the street to catch a cab so he didn’t have to get in the car with a drunk driver, so he didn’t have to be the one behind the wheel driving drunk,” Doug Parker said.
After Cheswick was hit, police say the driver–30-year-old Diogo Facchini–drove off, allegedly drunk behind the wheel. Witnesses driving behind him followed his car until he was caught by police.
“Anybody that gets behind the wheel after drinking is an idiot. We all do stupid things, but to me, that’s the worst thing you could do, take someone else’s life, be that irresponsible,” said Lou Fry, Cheswick’s employer.
Cheswick graduated from Glenelg High School in 2008 and was a student at Towson University. Now his many friends, his family and his co-workers at Merriweather Post Pavilion are all left asking why someone so young and so good could be taken so soon.
“Matt would be the perfect angel and that’s why God took him so early. So maybe he’s just smiling down, saying, `This is my way of being a good angel,’” Fry said.
The accused drunk driver now faces a number of charges, including homicide by vehicle while intoxicated and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
The 30-year-old suspect is from Virginia. He’s scheduled for his first court hearing on July 5.