A soldier from Berne who was a former standout athlete at South Adams High School died in Afghanistan, his family said Monday night.
Nick Taylor, who graduated in 2010, died while looking for roadside bombs, according to his family, who learned of his death Sunday night.
Taylor, 20, joined the Indiana National Guard soon after he graduated high school. A National Guard spokesman would not release any details Monday, but said information was expected to be released this morning.
Taylor was driving an armored truck when it was hit by a rocket propelled grenade, according to his younger brother Drew Taylor.
Nick Taylor was not the only soldier to die, his brother said. The National Guard would not provide the family further details until the families of other soldiers were notified, Drew Taylor said.
"He's always been a kind-hearted guy," Drew Taylor said of his older brother. "He would go out of his way to make people feel good."
Nick Taylor played linebacker in football, wrestled at 171 pounds and was a thrower for the track team at the school of about 400 students.
Jeff Lehman coached Nick Taylor in football and track and also had him in class.
Lehman said he last saw Nick Taylor when he was home in the spring. The two would chat on Facebook often and they last spoke June 26.
"He was just a fun-loving guy," Lehman said. "He was just smiling all the time."
The small community really couldn't believe the news as word spread Monday afternoon, Lehman said.
"It's pretty rough," Lehman said. "I think we're still in shock. I think everyone is going to rally around the Taylor family.
Nick Taylor also is survived by his dad Tim Taylor, who is the Berne police chief, mother Stephania Taylor and sisters Holly and Sophia.