VIRGINIA

John Malvar, Washington-Lee student, killed while skateboarding

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Hundreds of students came to Washington-Lee High School in Arlington Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil honoring a student who died in a skateboarding accident Tuesday.

Police say Malvar, 18, was clinging to the side of a pickup truck while skateboarding when he fell and hit his head. Photo: Facebook
Malvar, 18, seen here in his high school senior photo. (PHOTO: Washington Lee High School)

Many people were visibly emotional as students and teachers shared memories of 18-year old John Malvar, who was just two weeks away from graduating.

"There was never really a dull moment with him, it was nothing but laughs and smiles, and that's what I'm going to miss most," said friend Matheo Chavez, who often skateboarded with Malvar.

Police say Malvar was doing something similar to "skitching," which is riding on a skateboard while holding onto the back of a car. He lost his balance, fell, and hit his head. Police say he was not wearing a helmet.

Malvar later died at George Washington Hospital.

“John was probably one of the sweetest people I've met in my entire life, and I will always remember him,” said his friend, Brittany O'Grady.

Hundreds attended a prayer service for the teen just hours after his death. It was held at St. Thomas More Catholic, where Malvar was very active. 

“Someone called me, one of my best friends who’s really good friends with John as well, and said ‘That was John,’ and I instantly burst into tears,” O'Grady says.

Gregg Robertson, the principal of Washington-Lee, said in a letter sent to students and parents that Malvar, who just received a perfect attendance award, will be remembered in many ways.

"I will never see a brighter smile than that of John Malvar," Robertson said in the letter. "John will always remain close to our hearts and be remembered for the caring, outstanding young man he was."

Police say the 17-year-old driver of the pickup truck may also have run over his friend.

Guys who have skated with John say skitching is not common in Arlington. 

Malvar was known for his smile. He was on the swim team, recently awarded for perfect attendance and was heading to VCU in the fall.

For Marshall Sharif, Wednesday night’s candlelight prayer service will be his chance to say goodbye.

"I just want to be there to pay my respects, be there for his family,” Sharif says.

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