A Kings Park High School senior killed in a traffic accident was remembered Saturday as a lovable, athletic teenager who had become a star on the school golf team.
Nicholas Hein, 17, died Friday evening after his motorized dirt bike crashed into a car at Cedar Street and East Northport Road in Kings Park.
The next day, grieving family members poured into Hein's Kings Park home to offer condolences.
"He was a really good kid," said Hein's aunt, Susan Aiello. "He was a goofball, but kind of shy inside."
Aiello said her nephew was passionate about golf. By 14, he was driving the ball long distances and beating the captain of the team, she said.
"He was a really good golfer and loved the game," she said.
Hein's classmates took to Twitter Saturday to share their thoughts. "Rest easy, Nick Hein," wrote one student. "No one deserves to die so young, so full of life."
Another wrote: "I didn't even know him, but I'm sitting here crying because no one could EVER deserve this."
Kings Park High officials made grief counselors available for students Saturday. The counselors will return Monday.
"This is a very sad time in the Kings Park community," said Kings Park Schools Superintendent Susan Agruso. "Our hearts go out to the family and friends of this young man."
The accident was a tragic flashback for the Byrne family.
Byrne's brother Seamus, an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and earned a Purple Heart, was killed last February when he was hit by a car on Main Street in Smithtown after a night out celebrating his 33rd birthday. The driver in the crash was not charged.
"We spent all night crying," John Byrne, 41, Daniel's brother, said Saturday. "It's just terrible. Another tragedy strikes. We feel so bad for the [Hein] family."
Byrne said his brother, a union carpenter, never saw Hein as the car turned onto Cedar Street.
Daniel Byrne's son, Brendan, 16, is a junior at Kings Park High and knew Nicholas, John Byrne said.
A wake for Hein will be held at Commack Abbey Funeral Home on Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. A funeral Mass will be offered Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph's Church in Kings Park.