HARRISBURG - A Pennsylvania National Guard soldier and two others were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, military officials said yesterday.

First Lt. Jeffrey F. Deprimo, 35, of Pittston, was killed near the town of Ghazni early Tuesday along with a Navy lieutenant and an interpreter, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

The driver and gunner, both state Guard soldiers, were wounded in the attack and evacuated to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

Deprimo, who worked as a car detailer at a Ford dealership in Exeter, volunteered to go to Afghanistan, according to co-workers.

"We couldn't take him away from going over and fighting for his country," said Dan Lane, sales manager at the dealership. "Nothing could have stopped him. It's what he wanted in his heart."

Deprimo, who served with the Scranton-based 109th Infantry, had been commander of the lead convoy vehicle when it came under attack.

Deprimo attended Seton Catholic High School and was a 1996 honors graduate of Marywood University in Scranton, where he earned a bachelor's degree in music.

His death brings to 31 the number of Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.