UCLA football team mourns loss of Nick Pasquale
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It's an emotional time for the UCLA football team as they deal with the death of wide receiver Nick Pasquale.
Before walking out of his press conference on Monday, upset over a photographer on his cellphone, football Coach Jim Mora talked about the 5-foot-7 receiver having a big presence in the locker room.
"This is a very close team as everyone knows. They care desperately about each other and Nick was a young man that had a tremendous influence in our locker room," said Mora.
The former San Clemente High School standout was hit by a car on Sunday near his home in San Clemente. UCLA had a bye week.
The incident occurred on Camino De Los Mares located west of Calle Nuevo around 1:30 a.m., according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Investigators say a Mercedes sedan was traveling westbound when the driver hit Pasquale who was in the lanes. It wasn't immediately clear if Pasquale was trying to cross the street.
The driver stopped and called 911 but the 20-year-old player was pronounced dead at the scene.
Players entered the practice field with heavy hearts as the 16th ranked Bruins prepare for the 23rd ranked Cornhuskers at Nebraska this Saturday. Pasquale was a walk-on receiver for UCLA.
School hasn't started yet, but word of the tragic accident has spread through the Bruin community.
"I think that's the beauty of sports is that sports can help you get through these real-life issues and that camaraderie and the UCLA football family is what's going to help everyone get through it," said UCLA student Nadia Tseng.
One campus official says the team is working to get something placed on the team's uniforms for Saturday's game to remember Pasquale.
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