"You didn't have to know him to feel like you were his friend," said classmate Catie Gajski.

As Jacob Leggett's truck sits in his assigned spot at Howland High School, it's as if he can't be far away.

As his classmates and family came to remember him at a drive-in memorial Wednesday, it became clear he's as close to them as he's ever been.

"I wish I could talk to him, but I know I can't... you know, I miss him," said Jacob's father Hasper.

He bought his son that truck just two months before he died on October 7. Officials say Jacob lost control of the car he was driving along State Route 7 in Trumbull County.

An unforgettable smile and indomitable spirit, the hallmarks of his mere 17 years of life, now serving as comfort to those grieving his death.

"Me and him worked together and would be together every day," Hasper said. "Me and him were riding around and there was a guy on the corner panhandling... I said 'I gave that guy something to eat yesterday,' and he said, 'dad you got more than two dollars in your pocket; give that guy a dollar!' He just wanted to help everybody."

And even though he's no longer among us, talking to Jacob's friends and family there's no mistaking -- he's still helping them.

"Even though we lost him, it helps us stay together remembering that he was always nice and welcoming and that we have to be a family together," said classmate Catie Gajski.

Donations can be made to the scholarship fund established in Jacob's name at Howland Community Scholarship, 8200 South St. Warren, Ohio 44484.

Creekside Gardens and Tier One Landscaping also donated a flowering pear tree clad in green, Jacob's favorite color, in his honor. It's been planted outside the entrance to the stadium.