Family and friends of Michael Dearden and Philip Hertel gathered Thursday night to mourn two men who died instantly Wednesday when a cement truck swerved and tipped over, crushing their car.
“Two friends are gone. Two friends, two beloved friends, two brothers, two family members," said Nick Null, a friend of both the victims.
Dearden and Hertel were described as friends attached at the hip since high school.
“They were just funny,” Null said. “They were knuckleheads.”
One loved cars; the other, football.
But it was their fun and kind spirit that united them, and united the dozens of friends and loved ones at Hanscom Park tonight for a light-hearted vigil.
“It was just competition between me and Phil constantly,” Null said. “We were different sports but we pushed each other constantly and pushed each other in life and pushed ourselves to be the best men we could be."
Dearden’s family said Michael was kind, and a friend to everyone.
"He was a caring person. He would take his shoes off for anyone else,” said Christopher Pori, Dearden’s nephew. “He was just amazing."
Dearden’s sister, Elizabeth Kessler, held on to his humor.
"Honestly, the word humble — caring, funny — he was hilarious,” she said. “But his smile — no matter how sad you were, his smile would make you feel better."
Others dwelled on the irony that the two beloved guys died in a car crash they didn't cause.
"Mike said, ‘If I’m gonna go out, I want it to be in a car,’ “ said Taylor McAllister, another of Dearden’s friends. “But who would've thought it would've been in a car that wasn't even moving."