SAN CLEMENTE (CBSLA.com) — UCLA football wide receiver Nicholas Pasquale has died after being struck by a vehicle in San Clemente, it was reported Sunday.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department Coroner’s office said on their website that the 20-year-old Pasquale was struck by a vehicle while crossing a street.
The accident occurred about 1:27 a.m. Sunday on Camino De Los Mares just west of Calle Nuevo.
The driver of the vehicle stopped and immediately called paramedics.
“The driver of the vehicle that hit the pedestrian did stop, and he was the one who called 9-1-1 and had sheriff’s deputies as well as paramedics respond,” Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.
The driver has not been cited.
“God I’m going to miss him,” Nicholas’ father Mel said. “Just an outstanding kid. Just unfortunate.”
A native of San Clemente, Pasquale was entering his freshman season as a walk-on wide receiver, according to the school’s student-run newspaper The Daily Bruin.
At 8 years old, Pasquale was diagnosed with a condition that led doctors to believe he would never be able to play sports.
However, Pasquale became an All-League and All-County player at San Clemente High School.
“I was lucky enough to have him come home, at least last night,” Nicholas’ brother A.J. said. “The Bruins are on a bye week this week, and I just got to see him.”
Head Coach Jim Mora traveled down to San Clemente to pay his respects to Pasquale’s family.
Fighting tears, Mora addressed a crowd of hundreds of mourners who gathered on the football field of San Clemente High School for a vigil.
“It was an honor to be his coach. We’ll miss him dearly. He had a tremendous impact on our team and everybody on it. He was loved. He was respected. We called him ‘Pac-Man’”, Mora managed.
“Coach Mora said we need, you know, we will never forget Nick,” Mel Pasquale said. “The players and coaches loved him and he was a hard, hard-working kid.”