RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Hanover county senior killed in a car crash just one day before his high school graduation will be laid to rest Wednesday.
Coty Gowen was set to graduate from Patrick Henry High School over the weekend, but instead of celebrating, his family is now in mourning.
Gowen was killed Friday afternoon when his car flipped over on Elmont Road, just north of Hanover Avenue.
He was not wearing his seat belt.
Fellow students and teachers remembered Gowen at Patrick Henry's graduation Saturday night at the Siegel Center.
In the spot where Coty was supposed to sit, lay his cap, gown and "hi mom" sign he had planned to wear.
His brother accepted his diploma.
Gowen's family says the boy with the bright smile couldn't wait to graduate.
He planned to work at a marine supply store with his brother and also train to be a UFC fighter.
Though the day ended tragically, Coty's mom, Victoria Hegamyer, recalls their last exchange.
"I've always told them you're never promised another day," said Hegamyer. "Always tell your loved ones you love them. The day that he left, he said, 'I love you, mom.' 'I love you too' - and that was our last words to one another."
The Hanover sheriff's office said Coty Gowen's car ran off the right shoulder of Elmont Road Friday afternoon. He then over-corrected and ran off the left shoulder and the vehicle flipped.
Gowen and a 17-year old friend were thrown from the car.
That friend was taken to the hospital.
Family and friends will say farewell to Coty Gowen at the Bennett Funeral Home at 1 p.m.