WINDSOR, Ont. -- A 30-year-old Leamington man's life of uplifting smiles and shared fun was cut abruptly short at a cold Lakeshore intersection Thursday afternoon.
Danny Abdul-Massih died at Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital after the vehicle in which he was a passenger ran a stop sign on Rochester Townline at County Road 46 in Lakeshore. The northbound Mercury Cougar, say Ontario Provincial Police, was struck in the passenger side by a black Ford F-150 pickup heading west on County Road 46.
Abdul-Massih was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Charges are pending against the Cougar's driver, 24-year-old Eric Briggs of Leamington.
"He was pretty much the nicest guy you'll ever meet," said Abdul-Massih's cousin, Chuck Andary. "He went out of his way to help people all the time."
Andary, 24, said Abdul-Massih, a Leamington native and former Cardinal Carter secondary school student, was a lively man with an everpresent smile. He said Abdul-Massih's demeanour lifted the spirits of those around him, and he was quick to adopt their interests as he spent time with them.
"He was always so lively," he said. "He was always so bubbly. He was always smiling."
His passions included fishing, Andary said, though his lure luck left something to be desired. "I don't think he ever caught a fish in his life, but he loved fishing," said Andary .
Abdul-Massih was also an astronomy buff.
Some of Andary's fondest memories of his cousin came when he was seven or eight.
At the time Abdul-Massih was into boxing, he said, and invited him to spar.
But he said when they got into the ring, a smiling Abdul-Massih got to his knees and let him take five free shots. "I don't think I hurt him once," Andary said, "but he always seemed to lose somehow.
"He's the kind of guy that's always wanting to de-stress you."
Andary said Abdul-Massih's career interests leaned toward law and policing. He was not married but had a girlfriend. Nevertheless he'd devoted the last few years to spending time with his niece and nephew.
"He's just really dedicated to his family and friends," he said. "Whenever I think of Danny, I just think, 'Man, if I ever needed anything, I'd just give Danny a call.'"
Briggs was not injured in the collision, nor were the occupants of the truck, 46-year-old Gilbert Nelanson of Lakeshore and a female passenger.
The crash occurred around 3 p.m. Officers were still on the scene well into Thursday night. The brown Cougar and the pickup were both resting upright at the northwestern shoulder of the intersection, beside a large stop sign.
Police stationed at the 6th Concession, west of the scene, were diverting traffic from the intersection and the nearby stretch of road.
Crash in Lakeshore
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