By Mike LaBella
---- — HAVERHILL — A New Hampshire man who was struck and killed on Interstate 495 in Haverhill early yesterday morning will be remembered as a man who embraced life.
The death of Nicholas Nadeau, 24, of Kingston, hit hard at his church and former college football program.
“This is very, very sad. He was a good football player for us,” said Southern Virginia University head coach DeLane Fitzgerald, who recruited Nadeau to play defensive line.
“He was full of life. He was way too alive to be dead,” the coach said.
According to the Massachusetts State Police, Nadeau was struck and killed in the northbound side of I-495 near Exit 51, the Main Street exit for Haverhill. State Police at the Newbury barracks had received a report of a pedestrian being struck by a motor vehicle at 1:25 a.m.
Troopers arrived along with members of the Haverhill Fire Department/EMS. A Paramedic from the Fire Department determined the victim to be dead at the scene.
Troopers from the Massachusetts Crime Scene Service Section responded to assist with the investigation.
Route 495 northbound was shut down in the area of Exit 51. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) responded to the scene with arrow boards to assist in redirecting traffic around the scene during the investigation.
Fitzgerald recalled Nadeau leaving the liberal arts college after freshman year for missionary work with the Church of Latter-Day Saints.
“Everyone loved Nick Nadeau,” said Bishop Jared Samuelson of the Church of Latter-Day Saints in Exeter, N.H.
“He was one of those outstanding young men who knew his beliefs and followed his beliefs,” Samuelson said.
The bishop described Nadeau as very positive and optimistic, a young man who had a good idea where he was going with his future.
Yesterday, the church’s congregation was intent on trying to support and comfort Nadeau’s family.
“This is very, very tragic,” Samuelson said.
Nadeau attended Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston, where he was a member of the Class of 2008.