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Community members gather in Waynesboro to remember young man who died in car crash

Published: Jan. 1, 2022 at 11:45 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 2, 2022 at 12:46 AM EST
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - Community members gathered Saturday evening at Waynesboro High School to remember the life of a young man who, loved ones say, was larger than life itself.

Friends old and new, family, teachers, and acquaintances shared stories, smiles and tears to remember Ezra Bennett. His friends and family organized a vigil after he lost his life in a car wreck on Christmas Eve.

“We’re gathered here to listen to some music, talk with his friends, gather with his friends, give his friends a chance to come together, and talk about him again. Keep him alive in his memories,” said Bennett’s stepfather Ryan Pickwoad.

Bennett’s cousin, Julia Mayo, said they wanted to keep the event light. She said Ezra would want it like that.

“We’re just here to have fun for him. We don’t want to be sad. We don’t want it to be sad. We want to remember him, but we know that he wouldn’t want us down here being sad. He’d want a party,” Mayo said.

“He was not one for a dull moment,” Pickwoad said.

His loved ones remember him fondly for what made him who he was.

“We’ve got hoodies on. That was his trademark, a hoodie everywhere. Didn’t matter, summertime, wintertime,” said Pickwoad. “100 degrees or ten degrees, he had a hoodie on.”

There was understood footwear to the event, too.

“And tie-dye Crocs. He always wore crocs,” said Mayo.

Pickwoad laughed, adding, “We’ve got crocs, hoodies, and tie-dye.”

They said Bennett’s life was too short, but the crowd that gathered proves he was loved deeply, and said he gave that same love back.

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