WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The West Warwick teenager who was killed by an alleged drunk driver last year has been forever memorialized.
The Matthew Dennison Memorial Plaza was unveiled Thursday evening at West Warwick High School.
Dennison died back in March 2022 after the car he was riding in was hit head-on by a suspected drunk driver. He was critically wounded and spent nearly a month in the hospital before succumbing to his injuries.
The 17-year-old was the captain of the West Warwick/Exeter-West Greenwich high school hockey team alongside his best friend Kevin McDonald, who was also injured in the crash.
“Matthew was the exemplar of a student athlete both on and off the ice,” said Justin Lake, head coach of the West Warwick/Exeter-West Greenwich boys hockey team. “Day in and day out, he displayed strength, leadership and devotion.”
The new memorial plaza is situated outside of the Benny Magiera Memorial Ice Rink, where Dennison spent most of his time. It features a fountain with a waterfall, as well as a plaque that features Dennison’s initials and the number 16, which he proudly wore on his hockey jersey.
“Hockey was his passion, his love and his life,” his mother Brenda Dennison said. “We can’t think of a more fitting location for this beautiful memorial, which sits outside the rink where it all began.”
The memorial will eventually include a life-sized bronze statue of Dennison in his hockey jersey and ice skates.