By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The motorcyclist who died Thursday in a crash in Oak Park Heights has been identified as a 17-year-old high school senior who was set to graduate the next day.

The State Patrol says Declan Ronan Raverty, of Roseville, was killed after his Harley Davidson motorcycle collided with a Cadillac Escalade that was crossing Highway 95 near the St. Croix River.

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(credit: Roseville Area High School)

The passenger on Raverty’s motorcycle, 20-year-old Katie Page, also of Roseville, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Both she and Raverty were wearing helmets. The driver of the Escalade was unharmed.

“Everyone loves him. Very charismatic. He was definitely a character. Everyone loves him. He was everyone’s best friend,” said friend Joe Grissom.

Grissom met Declan in seventh-grade football, and they quickly became friends. He said the guy they called “Duck” was someone both teachers and students gravitated towards because of his fun and outgoing personality.

“He wore a kilt multiple times to school just for fun for St. Paddy’s Day,” Grissom said.

On Friday, before graduation at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, most of Declan’s friends were just learning about his death. His seat was left open, and there was a moment of silence in his honor.

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“It’s just really tragic, and Declan was a very good guy,” said senior Daniel Martin.

Declan was also involved in 623 Productions, a television production group for Roseville students.

“It’s like an extended family, so we’ve kind of lost one of our own,” said supervisor Wayne Powers.

Powers said Declan was would run cameras and graphics and was always willing to help anyone in need.

“He was a great friend. He was always there when we needed him. He’s going to be missed a lot,” Powers said.

He had been elected to this year’s homecoming royalty court.

“Duck touched the hearts of a lot of people and he will be missed by so many,” said Jeff Davies, a teacher and football coach at Roseville High School. “Without a doubt he was one of the most recognizable students in our building.”

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Declan’s family received his diploma earlier on Friday.

John Lauritsen