WAAY 31 spoke with friends of an Athens man who was killed in a crash and learned what they're doing to remember him.
“Mason was always full of joy," Jordan Pugh said. "I guess the best way to describe him would be ‘the biggest heart ever.’ He just lit up the room wherever he was.”
Jordan Pugh can’t say enough good things about his friend, Mason Gilliland.
The 23-year-old passed away after his car left Highway 31 in Athens and hit a utility pole Monday morning, and the loss is something Pugh still can’t wrap his head around.
“He was kind of like a younger brother to me," Pugh said. "It’s tough. I'm going to miss that bond we had that I don't get to experience with many people."
Jordan says Gilliland was a man of faith.
“He got saved not too long ago and gave his life to the Lord," Pugh said. "He had a big impact on me giving my life to the Lord.”
Some of Pugh’s favorite memories of Gilliland were had during the mission trips they went on together.
"He was the one the kids flocked around, because he was always smiling and he laughed at everything," he said.
Pugh also coached and played baseball with Gilliland and said it was clear he loved the sport.
“He was a heck of a player. He was passionate about the game. He was a great teammate and easy to coach."
Pugh is now asking the community to pray for Gilliland’s family during this difficult time.
“A lot of people say that ‘The least I can do is pray.’ That’s wrong. It’s actually the most you can do. Pray for somebody, because you’re putting it in God’s hands and He can give them the comfort and the peace they need right now.”
Instead of flowers, Gilliland's family is asking folks to donate to Full Count Ministries.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.