Thousands share NYE post by motorcyclist who died hours later

Tens of thousands of people have liked or shared a Facebook status update a Florida motorcyclist posted hours before he was apparently killed by a drunken driver on New Year's Eve.

Matthew DeRemer, 31, of St. Petersburg wrote Thursday morning that he was reflecting on his faith and looking forward to what 2016 would bring.

On his Facebook page, he shared the picture that reads, "We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day."

DeRemer's closing statement with the picture: "I really don't know where I'll end up tonight but I do know where I windup is where I'm meant to be."

A Florida Highway Patrol report says DeRemer died about 8 p.m. when his motorcycle was struck by a drunken driver in Largo.

The driver was identified as 59-year-old Steven Lee Clarke of Seminole. He was charged with DUI manslaughter. Jail records show he was released Friday on $20,000 bail.

DeRemer's personality was infectious and his faith was larger than life, Michael and Julie Deremer, Matthew's parents, told Bay News 9 in Tampa.

"He's bigger than life, he's loud, you know when he's in a room. He's funny. He just shares himself with everybody. And he just loves on people," Julie DeRemersaid.

Matthew's parents say this story is less about how he died and more about how he lived.

"It's my belief that this tragic event will bring about the change of many lives. Many lives will be changed as they look at what he's went through and what he's overcome and how he did it with his personal relationship with Jesus," said Michael DeRemer.

A memorial has also grown at the crash site - including flowers with a picture and a cross with heartfelt messages. There's even a container of Jif peanut butter. According to the cross, it was his nickname.

"I know that was his nickname. I think it's because, 'I'll fix you up in a jiff,'" said friend Nikolai Bortsob.

"He liked to write stories," Julie DeRemer told ABC News, adding that he would spread words of encouragement online, sometimes to people who seemed downtrodden. DeRemer would text his parents every day just to say "Good morning," she said.

"He always looked to the future instead of the past," Michael DeRemer told ABC News.

After DeRemer was honorably discharged from the Marines, he lived in San Diego and San Francisco. He moved to Florida a couple of years ago to attend school for surgical technology, his father said.

Matthew DeRemer had just gotten a job as a surgical technologist at the Belleair Surgery Center in Clearwater, Florida, last week. He had worked at the West Bay Surgical Center in Largo for about six months.

"He liked to make a difference in somebody's life," Julie DeRemer told ABC News. "He was phenomenal in his skill set."

She said that although she misses her son terribly, she has no ill feelings toward the driver who killed her son.

"You've got to live every day to the fullest, just as his post said," she said.

Matthew DeRemer's funeral will take place on Jan. 16 at a church in St. Petersburg.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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