Candles light the night as community remembers 13-year-old struck, killed by vehicle in Dover Township

DOVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) – Matthew Gowen’s mother was surprised by her son one more time on Sunday night. That’s when she heard the story of how Matthew taught a young boy how to read.

Hundreds of people showed up at a vigil for the 13-year-old, which was held at Dover Community Park.

“I know all these people love him,” Tina Cotton, Gowen’s mother, said. “It makes me feel so good.”

Candles lit the night as those close to the eighth grader at Dover Intermediate School wrote on message boards and shared their favorite stories of Gowen.

Madison Davis, one of Matthew’s classmates, told ABC 27 News that her friend was known to have a good sense of humor.

“He was always making people smile and always calling people babe and stuff,” she said. “He always put a smile on everyone’s face.”

Earlier on Sunday, a memorial grew at the site where police said Gowen was hit and killed on Thursday by the driver of a minivan on South Salem Church Road.

Cotton said they affectionately called her son “buddy”, but on Sunday it was her son who had the close friends.

“He has a lot of buddies here,” she said.

Police are still investigating the crash that took Gowen’s life.

Cotton told ABC 27 News that they are planning a memorial ride for her son. She said they are still working out the details of the ride, but added that they plan to call it “Matthew’s Ride Home”.

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