David Ellis was riding his bike north one late Friday night on Webster Avenue near Gun Hill Road when he was struck from by behind by the driver of a Nissan sedan and thrown into traffic only to be hit again by a southbound SUV. The driver of the first car fled on foot while the second one stopped.
David had many close friends on and off the field. Among many he was known as Tony. According to his Facebook profile, he also went by "Wavey." As a testimony to his popularity, friends set up a makeshift memorial near his home on Marion Avenue, a few blocks away from the crash site (DNAInfo).
He was a star cornerback at Jamaica High School. His sister, Tara, told the Daily News, "He was ready to go to college. Lots of colleges were looking at him." His teamates and coach expressed their sorrow following the crash and had a difficult time accepting it
From the Daily News:
Jamaica football coach Calvin Whitfield, who coached Ellis for one season, said he planned to pay tribute to Ellis somehow this season, but wasn’t sure what form the honor would take. "I'm still devastated by what happened," he said. "But we will do something."
He described Ellis as a “leader, smart, very coachable and a very respectful kid. Everything with him was ‘yes, sir’ and ‘no, sir.’” Whitfield said that Ellis transferred into Jamaica his junior year from a school in Florida but that he was from New York originally. He said that Ellis made an immediate impression on his teammates and coaches upon his arrival.
“He was a kid that we planned on building our offense and defense around,” Whitfield said of Ellis, who also played wide receiver. “He’s the type of kid that you don’t replace. He was going to be a captain this year. He was a leader of the team. If I wanted something done, he was one of the guys I went to get it done.”
Whitfield said that Ellis was being recruited by several schools, including Fordham, but expected more schools to come into the picture his senior season.
“He was going to have a lot of options,” Whitfield said. “He was going to be in great shape his senior year in terms of schools.”