Andrew Case was so passionate about lacrosse that he joked about living in his sister's basement - she was planning to be a doctor, so could afford to put him up - so he could travel around the world playing his favorite sport.
"It was all lacrosse with him," said his father, Curtis, who even put a lacrosse field in their Pottstown backyard so Andrew, 17, and his younger brother, Jimmy, could practice.
But the Pottsgrove High School junior's plans to devote his life to lacrosse ended tragically when he and another teenager, Michael Cantamaglia, 16, of Barto, Berks County, died in a car crash on Route 724 in East Coventry on Monday night.
Four other teenagers - all packed into a 2005 Honda SUV - were injured, at least three seriously. The driver of another car that crashed head-on with the Honda had minor injuries.
Police are investigating why the Honda veered off the road and up an embankment, then flipped over and collided with the oncoming car.
The injured were Dylan Kunrath, 17, of Pottstown; Kyle Hilegas, 15, of Pottstown; Garrett Sterner, 16, of Telford; and the driver, whose name was not released. All but Sterner, the only one not seriously hurt, attended Pottsgrove High School.
Andrew Case was sitting in the middle row of the SUV behind the driver, his father said. He was trapped inside, but two other boys were thrown from the car.
"He was a wonderful boy. We did everything together, him, me, and my other boy, Jimmy," Curtis Case said.
Case described his son as a happy-go-lucky kid whom everybody liked. He celebrated his 17th birthday on Nov. 8 with a cake, a party, and a new lacrosse stick.
"He wanted to have fun. He always had a big smile on his face. He was nice to everybody. He had millions of friends," he said.
But his best friend was his 15-year-old brother, who also played lacrosse for Pottsgrove and on travel teams that took the brothers all over the Northeast. His father said Jimmy was devastated.
"He's not doing too good. He's talking about he doesn't know what he's going to do," Case said.
"He was a beautiful, beautiful kid. I know every parent says that, but you had to know him. Everywhere he went, he lit up the place," Case said.
Six feet tall, Andrew Case was strong and would defend smaller children if someone picked on them. One of those was Hilegas, who barely came halfway up his chest and whom Andrew was teaching lacrosse so he could go out for the high school team this spring.
Case said Hilegas, Kunrath, and the driver, whom he identified as Austin Ewers, were seriously injured and had undergone surgery.
A Reading Hospital spokeswoman said Ewers was in serious condition, Kunrath was in good condition and Hilegas in fair condition.
According to Case, Ewers, an outstanding soccer player who was being courted by universities, received his driver's license just three weeks ago. He said he could not understand why Pennsylvania does not limit the number of passengers in a teenage driver's car, as New Jersey does.
No one should get a license before age 18, Case said, though his son took his driving test last month. He failed and planned to take it again soon.
"It's not worth it," Case said. "Any parent going through what we went through would agree with me."
State Rep. Joseph F. Markosek (D., Allegheny) said news of the accident has reinforced his commitment to changing state law to reduce driving accidents involving teenagers.
A bill introduced by Markosek, who heads the Transportation Committee, would tighten regulations for novice drivers, such as limiting the number of young passengers they can transport. It passed the House in April and is awaiting action in the Senate Transportation Committee, Markosek said.
"Statistics show that when you put more young people in the car, accident rates proliferate," he said. "Part of what we're trying to do is educate people about this problem."
Case said he knew most of the boys and spoke with Cantamaglia's parents, whom he met Monday night at the hospital, today.
"They're taking it pretty hard. From what I understand, they're kind of barricaded in. We told them we want to meet with them later.
"Us four are the only people who would really understand what's happening here. He was a beautiful kid, too," he said of Michael, a soccer player.
The lacrosse community has reached out to his family, even people he didn't know, Case said. Recently, a lacrosse scout talked to Andrew about potential colleges.
"Now that won't happen," his father said.