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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Friends and family gathered to remember a Ligonier Valley High School student who was killed in a crash on his way to school on Tuesday.

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The crash happened along Route 711 in Ligonier Township. Nicholas Neiderhiser swerved to avoid hitting a deer, went off the road and hit a tree.

He died from his injuries. His brother was in the passenger’s seat and suffered serious injuries.

Tuesday marked his 17th birthday. But, instead of celebrating, friends and family were gathered to mourn the loss of a life taken too soon.

“It’s hard for me to wrap my head around it. I talked to him 5 minutes before he passed and told him happy birthday,” Jeff Clark said.

“He affected a lot of us in a positive way and it’s hard to accept this,” Natalie Neiderhiser said.

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Friends learned the devastating news during third period.

Many describe their classmate as an all-around good guy, who enjoyed hunting, working on cars and his dirt bike.

“Me and him used to do everything together. He was a great guy, he never did anything wrong. If I needed help with anything, he’d always help me. He was just a great guy,” Peter Stoll said.

“He was just that friend, if I needed anything, I know I could go to him and he would always help me out no matter what it was. If I was having a bad day, I could talk to him and he’d always put a smile on my face,” Clark said.

“He was happy go lucky all the time. He always had a smile on his face, you never saw him frowning about anything,” Hayden Light said.

Neiderhiser was on the baseball team at Ligonier Valley High School.

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Grief counselors will be available for students through the end of the week.