Adam Marietta's brother, Alex Marietta, was his best friend and his partner in adventure.
"We had a great, great time. It just came too short," Adam said.
Alex was riding his bike Thursday, June 3, on Davenport Avenue at Kimberly Road when he was struck and killed by a red Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Bobby Fitzgerald Hunt Jr., 33, of Davenport.
The crash happened just outside Aquatic Environments, 730 E. Kimberly Road, the fish and aquarium store Adam owns and where Alex worked as a manager.
"He's my brother. He's my best friend. My employee, but it didn't really seem like he was my employee — it seemed like he was my partner in the business," Adam said.
Adam said they were partners at work and play their whole lives, adventuring together since they were children in Boy Scouts.
"Going to Canada, fishing, one time we caught a large northern (pike) that was probably the size of us. And we both had to basically lay on the northern to have it stop flopping around in the boat," Adam recalled.
Alex leaves his wife, Kristen, and their daughter, Aria Rose, who will turn 3 in July. Adam called his brother a great husband and father who always looked out for his family.
Alex was an avid cyclist, well-known among cycling communities in the Quad-Cities, Adam said.
"They all wanted to beat him because of his speed and how many miles he would rack up," Adam said.
Alex also had an impact in the lives of customers at Aquatic Environments.
"We've had a huge outpouring of customers that just cannot believe that he's gone," Adam said. "Our Facebook's blown up like crazy. We put a GoFundMe thing out there for his family, and that's gone very well."
Adam said before the official GoFundMe was up, several scam fundraisers claimed to be raising money for his family.
"We're always going to have somebody intrude on somebody else's loss," Adam said.
Adam was picking up his son from school last Thursday when his mom called about the crash. After getting his son home, he called the store to ask what had happened.
"They told me Alex got hit by a car at the intersection, right in front of the store, and he did not make it. They're not bringing an ambulance. I was told not to come to work, that he was gone. But I still had to come and see," Adam said.
Alex was a joyful person, Adam said, and he would want the community and his loved ones to remember him that way.
"He would want us to still go on with life. Remember, but don't stop living," Adam said. "Life's too short to do that. Keep on riding, I guess."
The driver who struck Alex ran from the scene but was later taken into custody and charged with homicide by vehicle, court documents state. He posted a $10,000 bond, and his next court date is set for 11 a.m. July 15.
Alex's visitation is from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 11, at Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home, 614 Main St., Davenport. A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 12, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 2136 Brady St., Davenport.