MAHWAY — A Bergen County high school is mourning the death of a 17-year-old senior over the weekend.

The student — identified as Nicholas Lauerwald by the Daily Voice and a GoFundMe page to raise funds for memorial T-shirts and bracelets — was killed in the crash in the area of Bellgrove Drive and North Bayard Lane on Saturday night, according to the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office. The prosecutor's office did not identify Lauerwald by name.

"It is with deep regret our community has lost a fine young student in a very unfortunate accident last night. No words can express our communities deep sense of loss," Mahwah Mayor Bill Laforet wrote on his Facebook page.

Lauerwald was one of six passengers in a 2006 Toyota 4Runner that hit a tree around 10:30 p.m., according to   A 17-year-old male was driving and has not been charged according to Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir S. Grewal who said that a second passenger was injured in the crash. Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli told the Daily Voice that wet leaves may have played a role in causing the crash. The news site said some of the boys were on the Thunderbird soccer team.

Messages and flowers were left in space No. 182, his former parking spot at Mahwah High School, on Monday according to the Daily Voice. The report also said a candlelight vigil will take place Monday night at the school's football field.

"He was a great friend to everybody and everyone loved him," a message on the GoFundMe page reads

A scholarship fund was also created on YouCaring.

"Nick was a smart and caring young man who knew how to make everyone laugh. To many he was a friend, brother, son, cousin and grandson, and he was absolutely adored by everyone. He had a positive attitude and he was one of the easiest people to talk to. His dedication to music was admirable, and he was an extremely talented clarinet player. Nick added brightness to every life that he touched," read a message on the page.

The crash remains under investigation.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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