Hit-and-run victim’s loved ones celebrate his life with Seahawks watch party

Every Sunday, the Seahawks bring thousands of fans together and that was no different Sunday for one group of people bonded by not only their love of the game, but by their love of a longtime fan.

“You know, life is short. He was 28 years old. Way too short,” said Jonathan Tibbetts, whose friend Tyler Chestnutt died tragically last month.

Chestnutt was riding home from a friend’s hockey game when a driver hit him then left him to die alone.

“He was always about loving other people. He was the guy that would give you the shirt off his back. He’s the guy that would help you — even if he couldn’t help you, he would try to help you,” Tibbetts said. “It’s a huge loss for everybody.”

So, Chestnutt’s friends and family came together Sunday to honor him at one of his favorite spots to cheer on the team he loved most. A Seahawks watch party at Litz’s doubled as a celebration of life — and a birthday party for Tibbetts. On the day he was born, Tibbetts reflected on the night that claimed his friend in October.

“Here I am sitting here on my birthday remembering his life and celebrating his life. It shouldn’t have happened,” said Tibbetts. “He was like my little brother.”

Tibbetts and his brother, along with Chestnutt, were avid Seahawks fans and would often drive over to Seattle for games.

“One of the last things he told my brother was ‘be louder than I was,” Tibbetts said. “We just loved going, we love being a part of it and it’s not gonna be the same without him.”

Even though Chestnutt is gone, Tibbetts will make sure his legacy never dies. Every day from here on out, they’re hoping to live their lives out loud, just like Chestnutt did.

“He was always about loving other people. He was the guy that would give you the shirt off his back. He’s the guy that would help you — even if he couldn’t help you, he would try to help you,” said Tibbetts. “You know, it’s kind of hard to really gauge how much someone means to you, or how many people really love you until after they’re gone.”