Friend raising money to renovate local park in memory of man kil - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

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Friend raising money to renovate local park in memory of man killed in crash

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CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

Family and friends of a 21-year-old Chicopee man killed last weekend are mourning his death. They're now giving back to the community in his memory.

Jonathan Fuentes held back tears as he told me about his best friend Emmanuel Almonte.

"It was hard," Fuentes says. 

Almonte died last weekend in Westfield. It happened just before 9 Sunday night. He was passing a series of vehicles when one of them tried to make a left turn. Almonte's car struck it and then hit a tree.

"It has definitely been an obstacle. When I got the news, I never expected anything like this to happen. You know, something so tragic. My best friend who I hang out with everyday. Its been a rough road," he said. 

Jonathan created a Go Fund Me page online called the Manny Almonte Memorial Fund.

He's planning on putting the money towards something his friend cared about.

"A lot of my best memories are at Ray Ash. Me and Manny used to go over there and just shoot around," he said. 

Almonte loved to play basketball. Fuentes says he wants to renovate the court located in Chicopee.

"It was just so tragic that I felt like I needed to do something to get people to know Manny like I do," Fuentes says. "Honestly made me the person I am today so I feel like what i'm trying to do now is the least I can do for him now to make people remember him."

I asked Jonathan what kind of person Manny was. He said charismatic.

"He was really someone that I could be myself with. He was really caring. Like, just one of the best people I knew. Everyone loves him."

So far, more than $3,000 has been raised online.

Copyright 2015. Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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