Some could say that he marched to the beat of his own drum. Others may say he had a bit of a wild side, but friends and family knew he was truly one of a kind.
Peter Thearle, 19, while crossing Hempstead Turnpike - a tragic accident that still weighs heavy on the hearts of the entire Island Trees community today.
Thearle's life was taken just three weeks prior to his high school graduation last year, and in his honor, his sister Nicole spoke to his classmates on his passing. She described him as someone who "lived his life by his own set of rules" and "always learned from his mistakes and was a better person because of them", feelings that many of his friends seem to share.
Anthony Ciaravino, who grew up with Thearle and his older brother, said he'll always think of Thearle as a courageous and caring person who would go the extra mile for the ones he loved.
"Petey was the type of friend that you could wake up at 6 a.m. or midnight and he would be there without a question," said Ciaravino, a 2009 graduate of Island Trees High School. "He was absolutely fearless and would do anything for his friends and family."
"Sometimes he did things that didn't make sense to anybody else, but in his mind he was doing it for the right reasons," he added. "I'm grateful to have known Petey for as long as I did and will always remember the good times."
A close friend of Thearle's, Brandon Garcia, expressed how lucky he feels to have known him and said the little things are what he misses most.
"I miss waking up to that phone call everyday, every single day to talk about last night, and even if we weren't together, to talk about both of our nights," Garcia said. "There is no one like Pete. I love and miss him so much."
Cody Katt, a lifelong friend, recalled the way Thearle was able to put a smile on the face of all those around him.
"The thing I loved most about him was his personality, or as he'd call it, his 'swag'," Katt said. "He was always joking around. It was impossible to be in a bad mood when you were around him. I just miss all the good times we've had together."
Nik Butrico, a 2008 graduate of Island Trees, formed a friendship with Thearle in high school. Butrico fondly recalled his memories with Thearle as ones he'll always treasure.
"Pete to me, was just Pete," Butrico explained. "Whether we were at a party or cruising around or just playing video games, he was just Pete. I'm sure a lot of people had different views on him, some of which probably came from his crazy side, but to me, that was just Pete. No other person I have met or will ever meet is like him."
"He was always up for a good time with good friends and he didn't have a selfish bone in his body," he added. "I love and miss Pete very much and I cant help but crack a smile when I think of him. He was a very good friend of mine, but he's not gone to me. I still have him in my life in a lot of ways, even if its just looking down at the time on the G-Shock he let me borrow."
A candlelit vigil will be held in Thearle's honor at the site of his accident, in front of the former K-Mart building, tonight at 8:30 p.m.
Did you know Peter? Tell us in the comments.