PEMBROKE — A public vigil will be held on the Pembroke Town Green Thursday night at 7 p.m., for two Pembroke High School graduates of the class of 2016.
Joey Birolini, 23 of Hanson, and Billy Hickey, 23, of Pembroke were former co-captains of their PHS hockey team and succumbed to their injuries in a horrific car crash in Pembroke on Elm Street early Sunday morning.
Pembroke Police received several 911 calls reporting a single-car crash at 104 Elm St., at about 12:57 a.m., April 16. When Pembroke Police and Fire responded to the scene, they found they needed to free the passenger from the 2012 Lexus SUV by mechanical means.
The driver was located outside the vehicle, according to a statement from Plymouth County DA Timothy Cruz.
Both men were transported to South Shore Hospital, where the passenger, identified as Birolini, was pronounced dead. Hickey died of his injuries the next day.
The pair was well known in the hockey community along the south shore and has been remembered by local teams such as: Whitman-Hanson Boys’ Hockey via their public Facebook page.
“Whitman Hanson Boys’ Hockey family mourns the loss of former Pembroke Titans hockey star, Billy Hickey, who died in a tragic accident this weekend.”
Joey Tarquini of Pembroke said the two young men who were killed were his two best friends. They were well known and loved.
Joey Birolini, 23, had four siblings and was a great role model. He was the kindest most thoughtful best friend you could ask for, said Tarquini.
William Hickey also known as “Billy” was a senior hockey player at Salem State the college paid tribute to the senior player.
“Billy was such a tremendous human being. He strived to be the best in everything he did,” said Salem State Head Men’s Ice Hockey Coach Bill O’Neill. “You would want Billy on your team as he was the player that made everyone else better. You would want Billy to be part of your family, as you could trust him and his loyalty was unwavering. We all loved him and are devastated by the loss.”
Whitman-Hanson High School Superintendent Jeff Szymaniak via Twitter shared the GoFundMe pages of the two victims
“Please send prayers to our neighbors in Pembroke who lost two young men last night in a tragic accident.”
Tarquini said the pair will be remembered in a vigil on Thursday night to pay tribute to two outstanding men.
Hickey also leaves a sibling behind and was known as “a protector” of his friends showing bravery and sharing his courage like a big brother to their group of friends. He was a goofball, was kind and will be missed by everyone, said Tarquini.
The victims who had family and friends with local ties to Hanson have GoFundMe pages on Facebook, which were set up to assist in alleviating the costs of funeral services. www.gofundme.com/f/billy-hickey
https://gofund.me/e11b769a for Joey Birolini.
Massachusetts State Police were also summoned to the scene. It was determined that the SUV had crossed the centerline, leaving the roadway and stuck a tree before rolling over. Cruz’ statement indicated a preliminary investigation indicated that speed and inclement weather may have been factors. The investigation is ongoing.