UTAH (ABC4) – Taegan Brown, an 18-year-old Riverton High School student who was set to graduate next month, died Friday night in a tragic accident. Sunday, friends and family held a vigil in his name. They say he was the kind of person who went out of his way to make sure everyone felt loved and welcomed.

“It’s hard knowing that he isn’t going to be walking with us at graduation because he earned that and he should be there by our side,” said Natalie Bennion, who was a close friend of Taegan’s.

Police say the accident happened just before 10 p.m. Friday near Park Haven Lane in Riverton. Taegan was the front passenger. He was riding in a Jeep Wrangler with no doors with two other friends. He was holding onto a strap as they were headed down the street.

Officers say he was not wearing a seatbelt when the strap he was holding onto broke and Taegan flipped out of the jeep and hit his head. Police say this is an ongoing investigation and speed is not being considered a factor.

“It was hard, you never think you’re going to see someone you love – for that to happen to someone you love,” Natalie said.

 According to police, he was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he later died. 

Friends and family remember him for how he would always help others, show kindness and his ability to bring people together.

“Taegan was extremely loyal to his friends, he was the mother bear of the group,” said Jake Blattman, whose son was a friend of Taegan’s.

“He was always giving up time or whatever he was doing to be there for you,” Natalie said.

Natalie often went snowboarding with him, and says he was always willing to give her his gloves.

“He wouldn’t care that his hands would be cold, he would give me his gloves because he knew I needed them and that’s just the kind of person Taegan is,” she said.

A vigil took place at Riverton High School Sunday night in his memory, where friends and family shared their favorite moments with him.

“It was beautiful, so many hundreds of people came. We had cars there on display in his honor since he loved cars,” said Angie Bennion, Natalie’s mother.

Their slogan now is to live like Taegan, following his example.

“More people can live like Taegan did, to really care about friends and family,” said his uncle, Joe Tate.

Joe says around four hundred people attended the vigil and that the family is touched to see all the love the community had for Taegan.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family.