Community remembers teen 'we'll miss in a million ways'

MELBA, Idaho (KBOI) - A community came together Monday night to honor a life taken too soon.

Nick Martinez, 14, of Melba died Saturday after a car crash. His friends and family focused on remembering who he was at a vigil held at Melba Junior-Senior High School.

"Outgoing, made lots of good jokes, he's a funny kid," said Brian Skow, a member of Nick's class and football team. "He'll be hard to forget."

Martinez had five brothers.

"He's always smiling, he's always the most energetic out of all of us," said Chris Martinez, one of Nick's older brothers. "Whenever he gets home, he wants to go outside, go play football, go play video games, he always wanted something to do around us."

"He's everything we want every Melba Mustang to be," said Jordon Coffin, Nick's football coach. "Every kid that I coach, I hope to get one like him."

Principal Todd Shumway says the boy's mother works in the school's special education department and his dad is very involved in the athletic program.

Nick just wrapped up his first year of high school football.

"He's the kind of kid that we know we'll miss in a million ways," Coffin said, "so when we think about him not being able to come to the weight room doors or be at practice next year, we know there's going to be a hole there."

About 100 people attended the vigil. Many left notes on posters attached to the wall. Shumway says those will be given to the Martinez family.

"I love him," Chris Martinez said. "He's my baby brother. He's going to be with me forever."

A fund has been set up at Bank of the Cascades in Nick's name to help the family with expenses.

At the memorial service Friday, the family will ask people to sign the coffin. His mom described it "tacky as all get out" but says that's what Nick would have wanted.