A 19-year-old Marine from Mastic Beach killed in a car accident in North Carolina last week was planning to marry next year, his girlfriend of three years said Saturday.

Nicholas Buscarnera and Krista Lynn Amato, 20, also of Mastic Beach, fell in love after meeting at a party in December 2010, she said.

"He was the funniest person you could ever be around," she said. "He always could make everybody laugh."

Family members recalled Buscarnera as eager to enlist in the Marines and follow in the footsteps of his father, Vincent.

Buscarnera spent four years in the ROTC at William Floyd High School, graduating in 2012. He got his parents to sign the enlistment papers when he was 17, said his mother, Jennifer Buscarnera.

"We're extremely proud," she said. "There's not many kids at that age that know exactly what they want to do and do it."

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The fatal crash occurred late Monday or Tuesday and was caused by excessive speed, authorities said.

A U.S. Forest Service officer found the vehicle Buscarnera was riding in upside down and partially submerged in a canal off Catfish Lake Road in Craven County, N.C.

The Sun Journal newspaper in New Bern reported that Buscarnera was a passenger in the car driven by Skyler D. Way, a Marine from upstate Gouverneur, who also died in the crash.

Officials at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C., said the men were assigned to the 2nd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group.

Buscarnera is survived by his parents and sister, Julia. The dates for a wake at Roma Funeral Home in Shirley and funeral have not been set.

With Mackenzie Issler