Another bright young person has had his life snuffed out by a drunk-driving illegal alien. Matthew Watson, 20, a sophomore economics major at the University of Maryland, was killed May 5 at 3 am when the Jeep Cherokee in which he was a passenger was struck by a truck driven by Never Leopoldo Navarro-Montoya. The Cherokee driver and two other passengers were hospitalized with injuries considered not life threatening.
The Mexican fled the scene and was found unconscious a third of a mile away on the median strip. Police said Navarro-Montoya possessed a permanent resident card and a Social Security card with his name, which he said were forged and bought in Texas.
The death by illegal alien was the second of a Howard County resident during the last six months. Marine Cpl. Brian Mathews survived a tour of duty in Iraq, but was killed on Thanksgiving night along with his date.
Matt was described by his many friends as upbeat and having a well developed sense of humor. He would mischievously park his car in the middle of the lot where the marching band practiced. Another time, he wore six or seven polo shirts to parody the school fashion of wearing two.
He loved music and was he a saxophone player in the band, in addition to playing football as a lineman.
His football coach, Jamie Wagner, said that he had heard that Watson had a smart sense of humor, but added that he never saw that side of him. He said Watson took football "very seriously," describing him as a model student-athlete and teammate.
"He kind of fit into every social group in the school," Wagner said. "He wasn't in one particular [clique]. He just fit in with everybody. As a football coach, it's important to have a person with that kind of character on your team because he can build bridges between different groups." [Driver in U.S. illegally, records say, Baltimore Sun 5/9/07]
Matt also enjoyed sailing, which he learned from his grandfather off Long Island. He was the oldest kid in a family that had five children until his death. He was looking forward to a family vacation to the British Virgin Islands this summer.
The family has organized two scholarships to honor Matt's memory — one for a football player to attend summer training camp and the other for a student who participates in music and sports to attend the University of Maryland. The website also has photos and memories of Matt, including the article 'He was friends with everyone'.