JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP -- Dozens gathered at a fire station in Lackawanna County on Saturday to honor a firefighter who died in a car crash two weeks ago.
Inside the Jefferson Township Volunteer Fire Station, firefighter David Tobin's locker is still there. Outside the station, dozens of people gathered for what would have been Tobin's 25th birthday and released lanterns into the night sky.
"We want to show him and send him as much love as we can for his birthday,” said organizer Alexandra Froese. “He touched every one of us, so it's time we show him what it really meant."
Tobin died on October 1 after the car he was riding in lost control and flipped onto its roof on the ramp from Interstate 84 to Interstate 81 north in Dunmore. The driver, Cody Kizer, 24, of Lake Ariel survived.
All the money raised at this event will go toward Tobin's family.
"Wish him a happy birthday and he's never going to be gone from here. This community loved him more than I could have ever imagined. It's beautiful," said Marie Tobin, David's mother.
"He was one of those people that as an older member, I've been here for 30 years, and we like seeing the young people come in because he's the next generation, and David was one of those people we were going to lean on in a few years to start taking over things," said firefighter John Patterson.
While he's not around anymore, people say events like this help Tobin's memory live on.
"Sharing every one of those memories we had with him, it's a fantastic feeling," Froese said.
"It makes me not sad, and I’ve been sad for two weeks now. It's just beautiful and I love these people," Marie Tobin said.
Organizers hope to turn Tobin’s birthday into an annual fundraiser.