Benjamin DeRosse could light up a room.
“He was always the light in the room,” high school friend Jordan Matwyko, 20, said. “He always put a smile on everyone’s face. He would always make us laugh and he was a great friend.”
DeRosse, 20, of Brantford, was killed in a motor-vehicle accident involving a tanker truck at the intersection of Wayne Gretzky Parkway and Lynden Road last Friday afternoon.
A Honda Accord driven by DeRosse was travelling southbound on Wayne Gretzky Parkway and turned eastbound onto Lynden Road. A transport truck travelling northbound on Wayne Gretzky Parkway collided with the Honda.
Police said the driver of the transport truck was treated at the Brantford General Hospital for minor injuries and later released.
Friends gathered at a memorial at the site of the crash on Tuesday to pay their respects and share memories of their former St. John’s College classmate.
Matwyko, Jordan Lichota and Matt McIver have been best friends with DeRosse since high school and remembered him as a kind, caring, funny and hardworking individual.
Matwyko laid a bouquet of flowers at the foot of a cross as he reminisced about DeRosse.
“The worst part is we will never hear his voice again,” Matwyko said.
When the friends would get together, they couldn’t wait to hear what the renowned storyteller would have to say.
“Every time we sat around talking, he always had great stories,” McIver said.
DeRosse was known to many as positive influence, Lichota, 20, said.
“Ben was just the best,” Lichota said. “He brought out the best in everyone. He always put other people first.”
DeRosse worked at Paris-based industrial roofing company ModulR TS Inc. But outside of work, he was known to his friends as being a great athlete.
He was always proud of those close to him, McIver said.
“If you accomplished something, he was always happy for you,” he said.
DeRosse is survived by his mother Anne (Mike), father Miles (Diane), sister Leah, grandparents Anne (predeceased by Benny) and Douglas and Marjorie Hunt.
A funeral was held at St. Basil’s Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday morning.