Over Fall Recess, a Millersville freshman named Stephen Daverio was struck and killed by a drunk driver. Daverio and his friend Kevin Wiercyski were hit on the intersection of Milltown Road and Heritage Farm Drive in Wilmington, Delaware on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 12 at around 1 a.m.
The two young men were walking with four other friends northbound on Milltown Road towards Wiercyski’s home in Wilmington. The two young men were hit by 55-year-old Robert Hickson. Hickson was driving a 2009 Nissan Altima heading southbound and was driving while under the influence of alcohol.
Daverio and Wiercyski were rushed by ambulance to Christiana Hospital. Daverio was then pronounced dead at the hospital. Hickson however, was taken into custody with charges currently pending.
Daverio, a native of Avondale, Pennsylvania graduated from Avon Grove High School this past June. He majored in English and was a resident in Bard Hall.
Stephen Daverio was a very outgoing person who would talk to anyone on campus. He was also very into helping others and would try his hardest to help the community.
“He was an all-around good guy and had it together.” Freshman Vaughn Thren stated. “At his funeral, his teacher was saying how much he helped other people, how good of a kid he was and how he tried his hardest to help the community.”
Over social media, many people from both Millersville and his high school in West Grove, were in shock of his tragic passing. He was well-liked amongst the Millersville community, especially his fellow freshmen.
“He was just an all-around great guy with lots of friends,” freshman Jeremy Robinson said. “Looked like he was going places in life and definitely taken before his time.”
Robinson knew Daverio since 10th grade and stated how he had a way with his personality and presence that made people smile.
“I remember back in 10th grade we had science together, and I remember how he was nicknamed Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. He would act like Sheldon every now and then, which made me laugh,” Robinson said.
Robinson also mentioned how Daverio was a person who never seemed like he was stressing about anything. He also mentioned how he seemed like a guy who just enjoyed life.
“Honestly, I never really had a great friend until I met Stephen,” said Jack Milito, Daverio’s friend. “Even though I’ve only known him for two months, it felt like I knew him my whole life.”
Two of his new friends he made at Millersville, Jack Milito and Vaughn Thren mentioned how Stephen’s parents told them that Stephen was at his happiest in life when he was at Millersville. Nick Horan, another new friend he met stated that they were glad to be a part of the happiest time in his life.
Horan formed a dodgeball team based off of Daverio’s enthusiastic suggestion. Daverio joined Horan’s dodgeball team a week before he died and the team plans on writing his initials on their shirts.
“I couldn’t wait to see him play because he seemed to be very enthusiastic about a sport like dodgeball,” Horan stated.
Thren also stated that he was a very reliable person. He would always text him to ask if he wanted to come to Gaige to hang out. Every time he did, Daverio would always tell him that he would be on his way and then show up five minutes later.
With Daverio coming over to Gaige Hall every day from Bard, they formed a little crew called the EZ Krew, with him being one of the original members. According to Milito, Daverio stated that he wished he lived in Gaige because he liked hanging out with them every day. The feelings of Daverio wishing he lived in Gaige were reciprocal to Milito because of how close their friendship was.
Another freshman, whose identity wanted to be anonymous met him while he was in high school. He first became aware of Daverio, as they were both going to Millersville in the coming fall.
“He was nice to every person he met and he just seemed to understand life in general,” his friend said.
He first met him after his band performed at a benefit concert and became friends with him when he arrived at Millersville. His friendship with Daverio was centered on their common interest in music.
“It impacts me because he was someone I wanted to get to know well and to play music with, and now I don’t have that opportunity,” he commented.
Nick Horan mentioned that the Millersville community lost a potential influential campus figure. Horan truly saw the potential of Daverio becoming an influential figure on campus because of his personality and willingness to talk to everyone.
“I think it’s a shame because he was a freshman and the Millersville community didn’t really get to see him,” Horan stated. “He made the lives of others less difficult and I think that’s something we should all strive for.”
“It impacts the community because he was one of our own. He was a Marauder and a good friend who was loved by the community,” stated another of Daverio’s friends.
The loss of Daverio also impacted the close knit friends he made. Daverio’s charisma and character will be forever cemented in the minds of the EZ Krew, their self-titled group of friends. Milito and Horan mentioned how they knew that Daverio would have been a lifelong friend.
“I’ve met many bad people in my life and up here, he is the best friend I ever made in my life,” Jack Milito commented. “That’s why people say the friends you make in college are the ones to stick with in life.”
Milito and Horan also learned valuable life lessons from Daverio. Daverio’s willingness to help other managed to inspire them.
“He told me that you got to be nice to everybody because you don’t know when someone is going to pass,” Jack Milito explained.
“I learned to not judge people by the cover,” Horan learned. “I know it’s kind of cliché but trying to understand people’s problems and really think about them.
Daverio was the type of guy where everyone knew him.” Milito went on to say that his friend got along with everyone. He also believed that most of the school has some contact with him because he was that kind of guy. Daverio was very outgoing and would talk to anyone on campus.
“Everybody loves Stephen, even people that barely knew him,” Thren stated. “His death took a toll on everyone. He didn’t deserve it and everyone really misses him.”
Stephen Daverio was the ideal person portrayed in Michael Jackson’s song, “Gone Too Soon.” He truly was born to amuse, inspire and delight others. He was “here one day and gone one night.”