Freehold native Matthew T. Schiek, 20, was identified on Monday as the victim of a motor vehicle accident in Belchertown, Massachusetts, where he was struck and killed by a pickup truck at 1:48 a.m. on Saturday morning.
As initially reported by Gazettenet.com, and confirmed by the Northwestern district attorney’s office, Schiek was pronounced dead at the scene after being struck by a pickup truck while crossing Route 9 near Two Ponds Road.
According to Mary Carey, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, the driver – whose identity has not yet been released – is not suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or operating the vehicle erratically, and has fully cooperated in the ongoing investigation by Massachusetts State Police and the state police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section at Belchertown Police.
Schiek, a junior mechanical engineering student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where he held a 3.9 grade-point average as well as membership in the Commonwealth Honors College and acted as a volunteer with the Boltwood Project assisting mentally and physically challenged individuals, was also a 2011-12 graduate of the Howell ice hockey program.
“He was just a good boy,” said Bill Daley, Howell’s head coach since the program’s inception in 2008-09. “He played as one of my top defenseman all four years of his high school career and was the sort of guy who always put the team first. He was a very unselfish player and person.”
“I never had any issues with Matt on or off the ice,” Daley said. “He played the game the right and was a wonderful person in general. He was a quiet leader that always seemed to make the right choices day in and day out.”
Schiek, who played in 100 varsity games with four goals and 26 assists for the Rebels, was a member of the inaugural Howell ice hockey team that finished the 2008-09 season with a 19-4-1 record, and captured both the Shore C division championship as well as the Dowd Cup title.
Tonight, Howell will once again play for the Dowd Cup when it hosts St. John Vianney at Howell Ice World in the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals, and according to Daley there will be a pre-game moment of silence for Schiek, who is survived by his parents, Richard and Randi, and his sister Rachael.
The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30 p.m.