Skaters remember teacher who died

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SARASOTA--It's another busy Saturday at Sarasota's Payne Park.

However, the group of skaters there is missing one of its own.

"Just shock, like I couldnt believe it...it's sad," said Nate Ilardi, who had known Dan Giguere for several years.

The two bonded over skating when Giguere, who managed the non-profit skate park for the city, started coaching Ilardi, who says he'll never forget his friend and mentor.

"Just nice, friendly, congenial, nice to be around," said Ilardi.

Giguere was killed early Friday morning after he lost control of his vehicle and crashed, striking another car in the process.

"Last night was terrible, we had so many kids in here that were just broken up," said Giguere's friend Mike Walling, "there were two dozen kids in here, just crying."

Walling says most young skateboarders aren't mainstream kind of kids, and that's why Giguere always felt a connection.

"He loved the skateboarding and thought this was the greatest way to connect to some of these kids," said Walling.

ABC7 News spoke with Giguere just two months ago, when he closed the park for several days due to a controversy involving stolen packages, which Giguere later admitted were never really stolen in the first place.

Despite that, kids at the park say Giguere taught them not only about skateboarding, but about life as well.

"He just tried to teach kids good life lessons, like be safe and do good things," said one skater at the park.

"When you just around him you were happy, like it was just like, he was just like really cool to be around," said another skater.