A beautiful young man, whose boundless energy and laughter brought joy to all who knew him.
That is how the Marist College Bendigo community has remembered Dante Ross.
The 16-year-old boy died on Monday afternoon, after being struck by a car while riding his bike in Strathfieldsaye on Saturday night.
He had celebrated his birthday the previous weekend.
Marist College principal Darren McGregor told the college community Dante passed away peacefully, surrounded by family and some close friends.
"He will be greatly missed by our Marist community, and beyond," a post on the school's Facebook page said.
"His cheeky greetings will be cherished memories."
He said Dante would be remembered for his love of life, his sense of humour, and his loyalty to his friends.
The year 10 student had an ability to not just bring humour to a situation, but to cheer people up and bring a love of life to others.
"That's not just kids, that's staff as well," Mr McGregor said.
He remembered walking into Dante's class last year after Collingwood played Richmond in the AFL.
"I barrack for Richmond," Mr McGregor said.
Dante started playing the Collingwood club song on his computer.
"He was cheeky," Mr McGregor said.
But that was part of his appeal, and he was open to receiving friendly banter, too. Mr McGregor remembered Dante offering advice from the boundary line during a friendly cricket match between staff and students.
The teen played cricket at Castlemaine and was a part of Marist College's mentor program.
"I was very proud of the young man he had become," Mr McGregor said.
Educators and members of the school's wellbeing team were at the school earlier today to offer support.
Mr McGregor said the college would keep the support coming, based on the community's needs.
"It's always OK to talk about how you're feeling," he advised.
He said there were no wrong reactions at this time, but encouraged all those feeling distressed by Dante's death to take the opportunity to talk with someone they trusted.
A GoFundMe page created to help Dante's family thanked everybody for their love and support.
"He lit up the room with a smile whenever he was around," the page said.
"He was such a charismatic character and touched the hearts of so many."
Police are investigating the crash, which happened about 10.30pm on Saturday at Strathfieldsaye Road.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Bendigo Police Station on 5448 1300 or make a confidential report to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or at crimestoppersvic.com.au.
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