FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - A year after he was killed in a car accident by a man charged with drunk driving, family and teammates remember Ivy Tech baseball player Andrew Carpenter.
Lance Hershberger, Ivy Tech Community College's head baseball coach recalls when he first saw Andrew, a left-handed pitched pitcher, play in high school.
"My assistant and I went and watched him pitch for Lakewood Park," said Hershberger. "He played against Blackhawk Christian...We went over to see him play when he was a senior."
He says Andrew's passing has drawn the current Ivy Tech baseball closer; even new players know Andrew's name and jersey number, 11, now retired.
Hershberger says, "At the end of every practice they chant, ‘AC11’ or ‘AC11’ forever."
On October 19, 2019, Carpenter was involved in a car accident on Executive and Coliseum boulevards while he and his friends were on the way to get food.
Nicholas Goyal, 38, driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident, faces multiple charges including causing a death while operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Taylor Moriarity, a close friend of Andrew's who was also in the car during the accident recalls the moments she first realized Andrew wasn't responding.
“I looked over in the backseat and Andrew was unconscious and I felt like my entire world was... I had no idea what to do," said Moriarity. "I felt like my entire world was crumbling.”
After unsuccessful attempts to release Andrew's seatbelt, Taylor says emergency medical technicians had to pull him from the car as it caught on fire.
She says another's choice to drive while under the influence of alcohol is hurting her to this day.
“It shouldn’t take somebody losing their life. Like to me, Andrew lost 50, 60 years of his life," said Moriarity.
Andrew's father, Matt Carpenter, remembers when he coached his son as a little boy, but also when Andrew pitched at Shoaff Park in college.
“We had lots of hours playing catch and hitting. The things I miss most are just spending time with him,” said Carpenter.
But he says Andrew, leaving behind his parents and younger sister Leslie whom he taught to drive. is remembered as more than a player.
He says his son's faith in Jesus Christ was a staple of his character, and the faith the Carpenter family relies on heavily to continue grieving Andrew's loss.
Hershberger says it's still difficult to comprehend losing Andrew, the 1st player he's lost while in season after two decades of coaching.
He says, “You try to make sense of a kid that’s 21 leaving the earth so soon...We try to make sense of things with a human mind and a human heart and we don’t know God’s ways or his plans."
But Hershberger says the team will continue chanting Andrew's name.