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16-year-old Paxon football player remembered after crash

Friend says he plans to honor teen by celebrating his life

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Blue shirts sprinkled the parking lot of Paxon High School on Monday in honor of Marcus Chapman, a 16-year-old sophomore killed Friday night in a crash with a tractor-trailer.

Police said Chapman's SUV hit the semi, which was attempting to turn left from San Jose Boulevard to Loretto Road at about 11 p.m.

Chapman died at the scene. The semi driver was not hurt.

“Instead of mourning, I would think that Marcus would want us to celebrate him, and I’m going to take it day by day,” Chapman's friend Josh Coleman said.

Chapman was a football player on the JV team and wore jersey No. 47. His friends said he was a vivacious, good kid with a big heart.

“He was young and had a whole life ahead of him, and for it to be cut so short, it’s devastating,” Coleman said. “He was my friend, and he was always happy, and he made me feel OK. I’m going to do the same thing to him and to honor him.”

Coleman said he's breaking dress code to honor Chapman by wearing blue. He said that no matter the consequences, he will do anything he can to make sure everyone knows how special his friend was.

Coleman said the last time they spoke was Monday, and he keeps reading over old messages they sent and checking social media in disbelief. He said the one thing he can’t get out of his head is Chapman's laugh.

“His laugh is the craziest laugh ever, and he is always smiling,” Coleman said.

Chapman's aunt told News4Jax on Monday that the family is extremely upset and is in the process of making funeral arrangements.

Coleman said he wants Chapman's family to know how much Chapman loved them and that he is praying for them as they deal with this tragedy.