August 8, 2002
If he'd lived, Brian Hoskinson would have probably someday become a professional musician. Instead, a violent car crash last week cut his life short at age 16.
And as far as his mother, Kathy Hoskinson of Hampton Chase, is concerned, the world lost somebody special. "He was extremely bright, eloquent, charming and articulate," she said. "He was a leader, and his friends looked up to him."
A rising sophomore at Chantilly High, Brian had taken lessons and had become a drummer. He'd also taught himself to play bass and guitar.
"He surrounded himself with musician friends," said his mother. "He'd been in various bands that played rock music at parties, and his friends would come [to our house] to jam." She said he had realistic career goals, such as perhaps becoming a recording-session musician.
Hoskinson said Brian also drew very well and "his art teacher at Chantilly thought he was very talented." He also liked to write down his thoughts. Said Hoskinson: "It was sophisticated, stream-of-consciousness writing — mostly positive and upbeat." She said he was also good in math and was "starting to get more serious about schoolwork."
Friend Alan Kanelopoulos, 17, described Brian as an outgoing person. "He made other people laugh and would do anything for anybody," he said. "When me and my girlfriend broke up, he was always there for me to talk to, and it helped me get over her." He said Brian was teaching him how to play guitar and was such a good drummer that he'd often bring people to Brian's house to listen to him play.
Brian was a passenger in a car driven by a teen who police have charged with driving under the influence of drugs. Saddened by his friend's death, Kanelopoulos said he hopes other teen-agers will think twice before drinking or taking drugs and then getting behind the wheel of a car: "Let's just hope it doesn't take their best friend dying in front of them, for them to learn."
Neighbor Adam Peterson, 13, knew Brian for nine years and said Brian introduced him to the music world. "I play guitar, and I went over to his house basically every day," he said. "He was a very deep person, and we had long talks about religion. He was open-minded, lovable, talented, intelligent and very funny."
Adam's father, David Peterson, said his son and Brian went camping together and "Brian was always at our house — we lost a good boy."
Another close friend of Brian's, Adam Kave, 19, also of Hampton Chase, played guitar with him. "He was one of a kind," he said. "There's nobody else quite like him — he wasn't afraid to speak his mind and tell people what he thought." When he learned of Brian's death, he said, he didn't want to believe it.
"I got really upset," said Kave. "But I think the reality of it still hasn't set in." He said Brian's death made him realize "not to take my life for granted and that it can happen to you." Now, he said, he'll give more thought to everything he does — and to the consequences.
Kave said the tragedy also made him think about "all the times when I was in cars with friends driving too fast — how stupid it was." He doesn't believe that hill-hopping was something normally done by the driver of the car in which Brian was riding. But, he added, "He does drive fast and scares me."
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated for Brian, Monday morning, at St. Leo's Catholic Church in Fairfax; inurnment followed at Fairfax Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Youth for Tomorrow, 2531 Chain Bridge Road, Vienna, VA. 22181.