ANTELOPE -- An 18-year-old from Antelope died Saturday in an off-roading accident while on vacation along the central coast.
Close friends will always remember Alan Chernitskiy as someone who had a bright smile and a contagious laugh.
“Just the most joyful person I’ve ever known in my life,” said friend Daniel Sinyatkin.
“I never seen him mad or sad ever,” said friend Vitali Dipon. “Every time he’d see me instead of giving me a handshake, he’d give me a hug with the biggest smile on his face.”
Chernitskiy was at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area when he crashed a motorcycle off a 30-foot dune.
“I didn’t even want to believe it when I heard it,” Dipon said. “It’s one of those where it's like, there’s no way that Alan he's not here with us anymore.”
Dipon met Chernitskiy when they were young kids living in the same apartment complex in Antelope. He said his friend loved off-roading and was a skilled mechanic who was always helping his friends.
“I remember this one time he came to help my brother fix his car because it broke down,” the teen’s friend recalled. “And he came from morning, from 8 a.m., and he sat there all the way 'til I think it was like 9 or 10 (at night) just trying to help. That’s all he ever wanted was to make other people happy.”
Antelope High School confirms Chernitskiy graduated a year early in 2018. His friends said he was taking college classes while working as a truck dispatcher.
“He still had his life ahead of him. He still had to get married, he still had to get kids. But, sadly, that’s never going to happen anymore,” Dipon told FOX40.
Friends said they will make sure Chernitskiy is never forgotten.
“You know, he’s always going to be in our memories. I’m grateful for that,” Sinyatkin said.
This is the sixth death so far this year at Oceano Dunes.
Officials do not believe drugs or alcohol had anything to do with the accident.