A former Berklee College of Music student who was killed Monday afternoon in a crash on the Massachusetts Avenue bridge loved riding his motorcycle and had a passion for creating his own music, friends and family said Tuesday.
“Everybody said he was always the one who brought peace and always had the right thing to say,” William Cerullo, said about his son, Vail W. Cerullo. “If there was an issue or argument, Vail would be the one to figure out how to resolve it.”
Cerullo, 20, of Elverson, Pa., graduated from the Hill School in Pottstown, Pa., in 2009. There, he found his musical talents and chose to give up playing hockey to pursue a future in music at Berklee.
“Vail opened up a lot his senior year through discovering his passion for music,” said Stephen Longenecker, the Oaklawn-Tuttle director of vocal music at the Hill School. “He lived life for each moment, and he really was comfortable with who he was. That made other people comfortable by association.”
At Berklee, Cerullo was a vocal student until December 2011. He planned to study music production at Berklee this fall. His roommate — Tommy Lenzi, who first met Cerullo at the Hill School about six years ago — said he “always had a good attitude” and had the ability to make people laugh at anything.
“He was always doing exactly what he wanted to be doing,” said Lenzi. “The things I know he loved were music and riding his motorcycle; those were really his two passions.”
Cerullo was riding his Triumph Bonneville T100 motorcycle Monday afternoon when an 18-year-old Gloucester man driving a pickup truck made an improper turn in front of Cerullo. The motorcycle crashed into the pickup, and Cerullo was thrown to the ground, where he was run over by a sport utility vehicle, State Police said in a statement released late Monday.
“He loved that motorcycle,” his father said. “He was always a safe driver, and he always wore his helmet.”
State Police said that the crash was still under investigation, and it has not yet been determined whether anyone will face charges.
Cerullo’s father said he last saw his son on Father’s Day, the day before the crash. Cerullo was visiting his family in Pennsylvania and spent the weekend golfing and lounging by the pool with his father.
“It was just a pleasure to be with him,” William Cerullo said. “We just hung out, and he made us laugh. Then we brought him back to the train station Sunday afternoon.”
His father said the family plans to establish a scholarship fund at the Hill School in memory of Vail.Colin A. Young can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.