EAST GREENWICH, R.I. (WPRI) — The East Greenwich community came together Tuesday night to remember one of Rhode Island’s high school athletes who was killed in a car crash on New Year’s Day.
Olivia Passaretti was a junior at East Greenwich High School and played softball for the Avengers.
“Olivia was one of the most passionate people I’ve ever met. She loved this sport so much,” teammate Emily Russel said.
Now at the softball field, a number 3 sits out in center field.
“She was hands down the warmest and brightest person you will meet in your entire life,” Gianna Musella added.
The softball field wasn’t used for a game on Tuesday. Instead, as sunset approached, hundreds of people lit a candle and walked to center field to honor and share memories of Passaretti.
“It shows just how important she was to every single person’s lives she touched and how significant she was to every single person who ever met her,” Musella said.
As laughter and tears filled the air, Passaretti’s teammates and coaches took turns speaking about the impact she made on them and the entire East Greenwich community.
“The warmth that you feel, that she made you feel, it was just like … you felt like you were cared for because she treated you like you were her best friend,” Abby Clarke recalled.
Everyone stayed silent to honor number 3.
“For her legacy, it’s just like, as a lot of people said tonight, it’s really ‘live your life as bright as you can’ because you never know when it will be taken away from you,” Russel said. “Now we will live by it with the memory of her.”
This softball season will be different for the Avengers, as they play for much more than just the game.
“Everybody is going to think about her, every second of every game, every pitch, even before the game and when we come home,” Clarke said. “Everything that we are doing this season is going to be for Olivia.”