Central baseball team retires #15 in honor of crash victim

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Family, friends, teachers, classmates and teammates of Chris Lucero gathered outside Central High School on Tuesday to honor a life cut tragically short.

Lucero, 18, died over the weekend following a hit-and-run crash in Providence. City police said he was riding his motorcycle on Manton Avenue Saturday night when he was hit by a van and dragged several blocks.

“He died happy,” said Lucero’s older brother, Ryan. “He was crazy about the bike. The day he got it, his happiness level was through the roof.”

Ryan Lucero delivered an impassioned speech to an emotional crowd.

“My brother was my best friend,” he said. “My role model.”

Central Principal Julia Carlson said Lucero made an impact on those around him, as evidenced by the size of the crowd at the vigil.

“He stood out because he was just a personable, respectful young man,” Carlson added. “A great baseball player, great student. Just a great part of our community.”

Lucero graduated from Central last year and was a member of the school’s baseball team. To honor their fallen teammate, players and coaches retired #15 – the number Lucero wore – and gifted the jersey to his family.

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