HAMILTON, Ohio -- Rick Flick's Hamilton home was covered with pictures and mementos honoring his 19-year-old son, Ben, who was killed in a car accident last month.
Ben and three other college students were involved in a single-vehicle accident in Hanover Township on Saturday, Sept. 21. Ben was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sean VanDyne, Ben's close friend and the driver of the vehicle died from his injuries a few days after the crash. UC football players Mark Barr and Javon Harrison were also passengers in VanDyne's 2009 Chevrolet at the time of the crash and both were injured.
Police said alcohol and speed were factors in the crash.
Flick described his son, who was a 6-foot 6-inch tall offensive lineman for the University of Cincinnati, as having a personality that was bigger than life.
Ben's size, however, did not make football come easy, his father said.
"He would get up every morning at 5 lift run," Flick said. "It wasn't a cake walk for him, not at all."
Flick said his son had a serious work ethic, but also had a very playful and outgoing side.
"He was a nut... the class clown a mantle he wore proudly," said Flick.
Flick said many people have a funny 'Ben story' to remember him by.
"Just recently a friend of Ben's shared one about Ben dressing up as Batman walking through the dorm with a perfectly straight face making everybody laugh."
Flick said his son also had his share of sadness in life too. His mother Theresa was a diabetic who passed away from complications when Ben was just 14.
"He missed her so much and I know that that was a big motivator for him as far as moving on and playing college football. He wanted, I think, really to do that for her," Flick said adding that Ben's mom was a big football fan. "There was a big hole in his heart when she passed away."
Flick said about the only thing he can think of that really gets him out of bed in the morning is just knowing that he's up in heaven with his mom and his grandfather.
"They were incredibly close."
Two years ago Rick remarried and said he's only just now understanding how close Ben had become to his wife, Cathy's three daughters.
"We really became a family."
Flick said the hardest thing is that Ben was happy and had so much ahead of him that he'll now miss out on.
"You know you have kind of those plans in the back of your mind. He's going to grow up and get married and have kids and then grandkids...and all along you save all these things because you want to show his kids and now that's gone," Flick said. "You know it's just incredible. I really can't get my head around how quickly things can change like that. You just never expect it."
Flick said he is grateful for the outpouring of support from the University of Cincinnati and the community of Hamilton which he said has been a tremendous help to him and his family.
Flick said he will be involved in the scholarship fund set up for his son through the Hamilton Community Foundation .
His family is working through their grief a day at a time, Flick said.
"I'm still waiting for a text from Ben," he said. "I don't think we'll ever be over this."
Friends and family of Ben received a card from the Flick family to thank them for their support. In the card, a photo of Ben was printed, along with his last tweet. His memorable tweet was sent on Sept. 18.
" Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. -- Joshua 1:9," the tweet read.