HEALDSBURG, Calif. (KGO) --The city of Healdsburg in Sonoma County is mourning the loss of a young man who was hit and killed by a car while working in New York City.
"He was a one in a million person," wrestling coach Scott Weidemier said.
"He enjoyed being everything for everybody," high school English teacher Brent Mortenson said.
When Weidemier pulled a photo of Drew Esquivel from the gym wall, all he could talk about is who the 21 year old was and might have been.
"I think the legacy is just an example of how everyone should live their life," Weidemier said.
Esquivel died in Brooklyn last weekend when an allegedly drunk off-duty New York City police officer lost control of his car and ran over four kids. That officer is now free on $300,000 bond.
"Just really heartbreaking, really hard to believe. It took awhile to sink in," friend Zander Erickson said.
By any description, Esquivel was a super-kid accepted to Stanford, Cornell, at MIT on scholarship in New York City for the summer.
"He was there for an internship," Brent Mortensen said.
In Healdsburg, Mortensen looked at old photos Tuesday and fought back emotion, while remembering a brilliant young man with a big heart and no ego. "In the classroom if anyone was having a problem with physics, calculus, he would walk over, look down at the problem, look at them, tell them what they were doing incorrect, and help them solve the problem. He was just incredibly bright," he said.
They said their class valedictorian was pretty much everyone's best friend. "Any life being taken is tragic, and sad, but one with so much potential and such a bright future, why? Why out of everybody was it him?" Weidemier said.
The memorial for Esquivel will take place next Saturday at a church Healdsburg.
Friends expect more than 1,000 to be there to pay tribute.