Dad of Towson student killed by suspected driver talks about the loss of his son

TANEYTOWN, Md. - Matthew Cheswick's dad still wakes up at night, waiting to get the goodnight text message his son would send at the end of the day, saying "I love you Daddy-o".  Christopher Cheswick is struggling with the end of his son's life and the start of a case against the man who killed him.

Chris Cheswick has a collection of autographed baseballs that would astound any fan.  But just one of them holds meaning these days.  It is the one signed by his son, Matthew.  Cheswick says, "That one's worth a million dollars to me."

The ball is a priceless reminder of a young man whose contagious smile he'll never see again.  Cheswick, in an exclusive interview, tells ABC2, "I guess it's because I'm an English teacher, past tense is pretty tough."

But after 22-year-old Matthew's death, Chris can only talk about what he was.  An athlete, a friend, and a heartbreak that came with a phone call in the middle of the night.  Cecelia Roe, Matthew's mother, made the call, "She said twice, ‘Matthew's dead.  Matthew's dead'.  And I just fell to the floor."

Matthew Cheswick, a Towson student and Howard County native, was killed along Coastal Highway in Ocean City more than a week ago, hit by a suspected drunk driver 30-year-old Diogo Facchini. Police say Facchini tried to flee after the crash, which Cheswick says stuns him, "I'm not that person.  Matthew wasn't that kind of person that would realize that you've hurt somebody and keep right on going."

Now Chris has to try to keep on going with his life, even though it is missing something so huge.  Everywhere he looks at home, there's a reminder, a photo, a memory.  The dozens of cards that have shown up since the funeral make Cheswick feel loved and supported, as friends from years back express their grief.

But nothing can bring back Chris' son or give him another chance to do the things they loved, like watching the Ravens together with Matthew's kid brother, Luke.  Chris says, "That's going to be tough when we go to a game."

It may be easier than burying the boy with a bright future.  Matthew went into the ground wearing a St. Jude medal Chris held close to his heart for years, "I said to Matthew, when I pass, please take this off my neck. Little did I know I'd be the one taking it off.  It's in the casket with him."

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