Community lights up Providence neighborhood to honor hit-and-run victim

Amherst St. Memorial

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) –- A memorial continues to grow on Amherst Street in Providence, where a tragic incident ended on Saturday night.

According to Providence police, 18-year-old Christopher Lucero was struck by a van while riding a motorcycle on Manton Avenue. Police said Lucero was then dragged several blocks and died from his injuries.

The suspected driver, Mustafa Lynch, 69, was arraigned Monday on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident, death resulting.

Monday night, community members lined the accident route with candles.

“I just want to come out and contribute this because [Lucero] should be lit up all around,” said Kayla Alden of Providence. “This is him.”

Alden said Lucero played basketball with her nephew. When she heard the news, she decided to raise money to buy candles in Lucero’s honor. Alden placed those candles around the Olneyville neighborhood Monday with some of Lucero’s childhood friends.

“I went to elementary school with Chris. He was an outgoing person,” said Lucero’s friend, Tiffany Funes. “He always had a smile on his face. He was determined. We will miss him and love him forever.”

Susan Pineta, another childhood friend of the victim, said “Christopher always had the funniest jokes and the greatest personality. He loved his family, his friends, and baseball.”

“We’re here and we’re standing with them,” added Alden. “Even though we don’t know the family well, we are standing strong and standing as a community.”

A vigil is planned for Lucero at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Central High School.