Vigil held for teen fatally struck by car while riding bike in Hanford

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Family and friends are mourning the loss of a teenager killed while riding his bike in the South Valley. (KFSN)

Family and friends are mourning the loss of a teenager killed while riding his bike in the South Valley. Nolan Eggert, 16, was struck by a car Friday night near an intersection in Hanford.

Hundreds of people gathered at Woodrow Wilson Jr. High School on Sunday to pay tribute to Nolan. It's where he went to eighth grade and it's where his father is currently the school principal.

A somber crowd packed shoulder to shoulder to pay tribute to a teen whose life was just beginning. Among the hundreds of people holding candles was Martin Eggert, Nolan's older brother.

"I called home, and my dad answered from the emergency room. He was with my brother, and he said, 'Son, your brother passed away.' I was in shock," said Eggert.

The California Highway Patrol says Nolan was thrown from his bike when he rode into oncoming traffic. They also say he wasn't wearing a helmet at the time. The driver of the car is cooperating with investigators and was the first to call 911.

"When you lose a brother, it's just surreal. You know, unbelievable," said Eggert.

A fisherman and hunter, Nolan spent most of his time outdoors. Family members say he wanted to be a Fish and Game warden to protect the lands he loved so much.

"Yesterday was awful. I would cry until I was exhausted, and then when I would have energy, I would cry and cry again," said Cameron Olson, Nolan's best friend.

Olson grew up with Nolan. He says his late best friend's warm and gentle spirit touched many people.

Nolan had attended Woodrow Wilson Jr. High, where his dad is still the principal. But he was just starting his sophomore year in high school when the crash cut his life short.

"To be 15 and to just look down at your dead best friend, it changes you. But he was such a great person that you just gotta be happy for him that he's with God now," said Olson.

Family members say for those who weren't able to attend Sunday, there's another vigil at Sierra Pacific High School at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
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