Montvale, VA- The Montvale community is struggling to come to terms with the loss a 15-year-old boy. Lewis Allen Dickenson died Sunday in a car accident on Route 460 just miles from his home.
State Police says Dickenson was riding in a friend's car when it hit an embankment, and flipped several times. Allen was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown out.
Dickenson's parents say he was a boy who was adventurous, and not afraid to speak his mind. And, after his death they are discovering he helped so many people by just giving his time.
Just miles from the ripped up embankment where Lewis Dickenson died are memories of the life he left behind.
"He was a child that liked the outside, yard, playing, and cutting up," said James Thomas, one of Dickenson's neighbors.
In his backyard there's the scooter he rode daily, and the truck that was supposed to be his 16th birthday present. There is also the grandfather who was just getting to know Dickenson, now is preparing to bury him.
"That's not what you're supposed to do. You raise them. Old people are supposed to go first," said Thomas J. Dickenson, Lewis' grandfather.
Now all Thomas Dickenson has left are the few months this summer they spent learning and growing together. At Liberty High School, Dickenson's friends turned their grief into a tribute to his love of the outdoors.
"They had heard that this happened over the weekend. Then this morning about 40% of the students wore camouflage in honor of this student," said Tim Overstreet, Principal of Liberty High School.
Dickenson's parents say many have come knocking with stories of how Dickenson helped them mow their yards, or simply sat with them in tough times. Stories many will hold onto as they try to make sense of losing this young boy so soon.
"The only thing you can do is hope and pray he was riding with the Lord. That's all you can do," said Thomas.
Dickenson's funeral is this Wednesday at the Tharp Funeral chapel. In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made to the American Diabetes Association. Now no charges have been filed in the accident that killed Dickenson. But, it is still under investigation. For more information on the funeral services click here.