COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - One month away from his high school graduation, a young life was cut short by an alleged drunk driver.
"People need to think before they pick up their keys and drive," Carlie Astor told our partners at The Gazette. "They never know whose brother or family member they're going to take when they do that."
Astor's brother Michael Finley was killed Friday night on his way to meet up with friends. According to Colorado State Patrol, 52-year-old Michael Fay of Cascade turned left from Woodmen in an attempt to get on Golden Sage Road and collided with Finley's oncoming Dodge Stratus. Though he was wearing a seat belt, Finley suffered severe injuries and died before he could be transported to a hospital.
Fay was not injured.
Finley was a popular senior at Falcon High School who played for the football, served on student council and was in the ROTC. Astor said he made friends easily -- evident by the enormous outpouring of grieving messages posted to his Facebook page.
"You always brought laughter and smiles to people's faces. You deserved better," wrote one friend.
"You never know when it will be the last time you will ever see someone and I didn't even get to say goodbye," said another.
"He was the kind of person who would stop you in the hall if you looked sad or had a frown and make sure you were doing OK and asked if there was anything he could do. He was so kind and always said, 'Yes sir, yes ma'am, yes please, no thank you," childhood friend Hunter Conway told 11 News.
Finley was supposed to meet Conway and others that night.
"We were all at our friends house and we were supposed to have a fire, a bonfire that night. He stopped texting us; we didn’t know what happened. Some time went on and the fire started to go out and we’re like, 'Where is he? He’s not here.' One of our friends called her boyfriend and he said, 'You haven’t heard?' We all just froze and looked at each other.
"We drove to his house, and I got out of the car, and his sister Melanie came and hugged me, and I said, 'So it is true?' And she said, 'Yep.' It was the worst night. ... One of my best friends for 12 years gone from someone's reckless actions."
A memorial for Finley is growing at the site of the crash.