WALLOPS ISLAND, Va.- NASA Wallops Flight Facility dedicated its Tuesday morning launch to former intern Brad Mason, of Crisfield, who died in a car accident days before his last day at NASA.
"It happened on Monday, and he was to finish his internship in just four days," said Brad's mother, Diana Mason, also of Crisfield. She, along with about 15 relatives, went to see the launch of a rocket with Brad's name written as a memorial on the side of it.
The rocket took off at 6 a.m., and reached a height of 94 miles before landing in the Atlantic Ocean, 90 miles off the coast.
"It was so overwhelming. We were counting down when the rocket took off," Diana Mason said. "But something came over me when I heard his father yelled 'Go Brad, go Brad.'"
The 2013 Crisfield High School valedictorian planned to study aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland College Park this fall.
"He wanted to graduate college and come back to work at Wallops, like his grandfather did years ago," his mother said.
Brad, 18, was driving home from his summer internship at NASA Wallops Flight Facility, July 29, when he lost control of his car and struck a tree before the car flipped over onto its roof, according to Crisfield police.
He was airlifted to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury where he later died from his injuries.
The deadly single-vehicle car crash happened in Marion Station, not too far from his hometown.
"My granddaughter played in the band with him, and it hit her hard," said neighbor Ruth Todd, of Crisfiled.
Todd has placed a ribbon in front of her home to remember Mason.
"It blows off, but I make sure it's quickly placed back up for everyone to see," said Todd.
Todd, along with other neighbors, said Brad left a good impression on everyone. "That's just the way he was. He was an awesome boy, He was a good neighbor. He was a Christian boy. He was a good leader."
Diana Mason said some days are tough, but knowing her son has left an "out of this world" legacy, she said she couldn't be more proud.
The family has created a scholarship in his name at the PNC Bank in Crisfield on Potomac Street. NASA has created a scholarship in his name for Crisfield students who are interested in aerospace.
Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:49 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:49:09 GMT
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