Community mourns tragic death of 19-year-old

Two friends of Vinny Scorese pay their respects to their friend at a makeshift memorial at the scene of the accident that took his life early Saturday morning. Given their emotional states, both declined to give their names. — John Ferris Robben photo

Two friends of Vinny Scorese pay their respects to their friend at a makeshift memorial at the scene of the accident that took his life early Saturday morning. Given their emotional states, both declined to give their names.
— John Ferris Robben photo

The town is in mourning after an early Saturday morning motor vehicle accident that claimed the life of 19-year-old Vincent “Vinny” Scorese, Jr.

Police continue to investigate the fatal crash but preliminary reports indicate that Mr. Scorese was traveling southbound on Riversville Road when his car swerved off the road and struck a stone wall around 1:30 a.m. According to police, speed was a factor in the accident but it is still unclear what other circumstances may have contributed.

The section of Riversville Road, with its curves and stone walls, has been a site of accidents before and is considered a dangerous place to drive, particularly at high speeds.

Mr. Scorese, a 2012 Greenwich High School alum, was a rising sophomore at Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y. He is being remembered fondly by friends and family since his untimely death and a memorial was set up at the accident scene with candles, flowers and hockey sticks to remember him and the things he loved.

One marking the memory of Mr. Scorese was his former GHS ice hockey coach Bob Russel.

In an interview with the Post, Mr. Russel spoke of his loss of words in the wake of his former goalie’s death and the shock of losing the young man.

“He was soft-spoken, quiet and went about doing his job,” Mr. Russel said. “He worked hard on the ice and also worked hard in his studies. You look at these kids and they have so much to look forward to. It’s a shame to see it get cut short. It’s a real blow. It sends you reeling. It reminds you how fragile life is.

“For me, it’s a real blow to the system,” Mr. Russel continued. “You forget that you’re not infallible and that things can happen. That’s hard to process. I find myself reflecting more and more on the times I spend with all the kids in the program and am thankful for that opportunity. This is very upsetting and I don’t know how to describe how I feel about this. It’s really hard right now.”

There are several hockey games Mr. Scorese played in that Mr. Russel remembers fondly, the coach said, reflecting on one particularly memorable battle against Xavier High School. Although Greenwich ultimately lost to Xavier in overtime, it was Xavier that was a top five team at the time while the young GHS team, which was in a rebuilding year, was slated as the underdog, Mr. Russel said. Nevertheless, the coach believed his team had a legitimate chance to win the game and it was Mr. Scorese who gave them a fighting chance, he said.

It was a 2-0 victory against Rye Country Day School, however, that brings the biggest smile to Mr. Russel.

“[Mr. Scorese] shut them out and I think it was his best game between the pipes,” Mr. Russel said. “Since he was so soft-spoken, you didn’t know how much pressure he put on himself. In that Rye Country Day game, he basically stood on his head and made all those saves. I looked at him and I could see a grin under his mask when the final buzzer went. I knew that he did something special,” Mr. Russel added. “You kind of know when you play well and you could see that he knew that too. I was really proud of the way he handled the game. He was so mentally tough to hang in there.”

A close friend of Mr. Scorese’s, Michael Hawkins, also spoke fondly of him.

In an email to the Post, Mr. Hawkins described Mr. Socrese as an “all around great friend and guy.”

“He always had a smile on his face no matter what,” Mr. Hawkins said. “There was never a dull moment when Vinny was around. He could make you laugh without even saying anything.”

Mr. Hawkins also described  his friend’s caring nature, explaining that Mr. Scorese was always willing to help others, especially when it came to health and fitness, one of his biggest passions. The two could spend hours discussing the topic and Mr. Scorese was always willing to give helpful tips, Mr. Hawkins said.

“I’ve never met someone like him,” Mr. Hawkins said. “Vinny really was one of a kind.”

A wake was held for Mr. Scorese Wednesday night at the Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home. The funeral service will be held today, July 25, at Harvest Time Church in Greenwich at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, a fund is being created to assist young underprivileged athletes, students of Manhattanville College and the Scorese Family. Donations can be made to Harvest Time Church, memo: Scorese Memorial Fund.

To leave an online condolence visit leopgallagherstamford.com.

 

Post Sports Editor Paul Silverfarb contributed to this article.

 

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