Nicholas Breckyn Montaño

Nicholas Breckyn Montaño. (Photo courtesy GoFundMe)

Verrado High School graduate and University of Sioux Falls freshman baseball player Nicholas Breckyn Montaño is remembered as a caring student who excelled at anything he set his mind to.

Montaño, 18, died Saturday, December 15, in a one-vehicle car crash at the intersection of west I-10 frontage road and north Cotton Lane in Goodyear while home on Christmas break.

A Nissan passenger vehicle, driven by an 18-year-old man from Glendale, failed to stop at the intersection, said Quentin Mehr with the Department of Public Safety. Driving through the intersection, the vehicle struck the orange plastic jersey barrier on Cotton Lane. The driver and the front seat passenger were transported from the scene and admitted to a local hospital for severe injuries. Montaño, the backseat passenger, died at the scene from his injuries.

The crash is being investigated.

“As talented as he was between the lines, he was an even better human being,” USF pitching coach Ryan Pruitt wrote on a GoFundMe page he set up for the family. In nine days, he raised more than $11,000.

“(He’s) the type of guy you want in your program, the type of guy who makes his team even better off the field as he does on it. He loved people and he loved life. Whether you knew him your whole life or were only blessed with a few minutes, Breckyn made an impact on you.”

The son of Kevin Montaño and Daniette Tiffany Samaniego, Montaño was a sports management major, and a pitcher and outfielder for the USF team.

USF baseball head coach Grant Hieb echoed Pruitt’s sentiment in a press release.

“Breckyn was the kind of student-athlete every coach wants in their program,” Hieb said.

“He was not only a great ball player, but also a great teammate. He had a great energy to him and guys loved being around him. Breckyn was easy to get along with and was a perfect fit here. He will be greatly missed by all of his teammates as well as the entire USF family.

“We send our most sincere condolences and prayers to Breckyn’s family. We are heartbroken, and our team is distraught about the loss of Breckyn. He will forever be a member of our baseball family.”

As an athlete, Montaño was named an All-Region Pitcher for three years, a USA Baseball All-Star for two years, a member of the Perfect Game All-Academic Team, and a 2018 Rawling/Perfect Game Pre-Season Honorable Mention All-American Pitcher. 

Montaño earned many accolades for his accomplishments off the diamond. At Verrado, he was the student government class president from 2015 to 2017, a Kids at Hope Student of the Year, and a member of the National Honor Society as well as the National Society of High School Scholars. He volunteered at St. Mary’s Food Bank and Miracle League of Arizona.

To donate to the Montaño family, visit