When it comes to Andrew Vathis, there's a pretty simple rule of thumb: If you live or work on the South Hill, you probably knew him.
Vathis, a courtesy clerk at the Albertson's on 57th Avenue, and a key player on the Ben & Jerry's Coneheads team at Hoopfest, was struck and killed by a car while walking home on Friday.
Vathis was trying to cross 57th Avenue at Hailee Lane when he was hit by an SUV, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. According to court documents, police reviewed surveillance footage and found that the driver was going approximately the speed limit and that there was not a marked crosswalk.
Vathis was taken to a hospital, where he passed away.
"The whole community knew who he was," said Albertson's customer Marriane Wilder. "Everybody knew him, waved to him."
The Albertson's team released a statement about Andrew's passing over the weekend.
"We are devastated about the passing of our dearly loved friend and co-worker, Andrew Vathis, on Friday evening. Many of us were lucky to have him as a constant in our life as he has worked in local Albertsons stores since 1994. Andrew brought energy, positivity, and humor everywhere he went and quickly became an icon in the community. His passing has deeply affected us all and no words can express how much we will miss him. We are lucky to have called him our friend and co-worker for the 24 years we worked with Andrew," the statement reads.
"Oh, he was an icon up here. Everybody knew him," said Rick Chase, a close friend to Andrew. The two originally met when Chase worked at Albertson's 26 years ago.
Andrew was known for his big smile, his astounding friendliness, and a seemingly impossible amount of positivity.
His customers at Albertson's loved him.
"He was always riding his bicycle. Always happy, smiling," Wilder said.
His Hoopfest team loved him.
"He looked forward to... Hoopfest, and for the Ben & Jerry's Coneheads from the minute he finished all the way through the next year and the minute he started," Chase said.
Employees at local bars and restaurants loved him.
"Happy. He was always happy," said Katy Noah, who works at Morty's Tap & Grille, as well as Poole's Public House, on the South Hill. "He was always positive and always wanting to do something."
The firefighters at Station 81 loved him.
"So friendly. Never in a bad mood. Great work ethic," said Captain Todd Wood of Spokane Fire District 8.
Nearly everyone in the community has at least one Andrew story.
"He would stop by and bring us stuffed animals to give to the kids," Wood said.
"Any time he found a Coca-Cola with Katy on it, he would bring it to one of my jobs," Noah said.
Andrew had special needs. Wilder has an adult daughter of her own with special needs and Andrew was an enormous inspiration to her.
"You have an adult with disabilities. You can get a job. You can work. The community embraces you. And I really felt great about that," Wilder said.
Wilder isn't alone. Andrew inspired many people.
"He was so loving that everybody else wanted to be the same way towards him, too," Noah said.
"I use him as an example to my kids on how to live life," Wood said.
"He just brought out parts of me that I never even knew I had in me," Chase said.
That meant the news Andrew died in a tragic accident Friday night was a huge blow to the whole neighborhood.
"The unit that responded personally knew Andrew," said Wood about the firefighters who were called to the scene of the accident. "It was devastating for everybody here in the fire service."
"It was like a kick in the stomach," Noah said. "I think as time goes on, it's not going to be one of those that gets easier."
"People are in shock," Wilder said. "There's a quiet. There's a quiet in Albertson's, there was a quiet at Morty's."
"He can't be replaced," Chase said. "There's not going to be, ever, another Andrew."
His impact is reflected in the memorial created for him near his apartment, the hundreds of Facebook comments with personal memories of Andrew and the thousands of dollars already raised to help his mother pay for his funeral.
"I could only dream that I would be able to touch as many lives and impact as many lives as Andrew did," said Kari Conner, another close friend of Andrew and owner of the Ben & Jerry's location that sponsored his Hoopfest team.
"The community is really stepping up," said Chase.
Conner also said Andrew was an organ donor and his donations have already helped four people.
Andrew's funeral will be held at Ferris High School at 11 a.m. Saturday, Chase said.