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Andrew and Daniel McGuire sit side-by-side in an undated photo. Andrew, the elder brother, died in a car crash in September 2008. Daniel died in a 10-car crash on Highway 17 on Thursday. (Contributed)

SANTA CRUZ -- Friends and family say Daniel McGuire was a charismatic man with a sense of timing for witty, inside jokes.

McGuire, 25, was the sole fatality of a multivehicle collision on Highway 17 on Thursday when the driver of a big rig hauling dirt lost control and jack-knifed.

McGuire, the youngest of three children, was the second son the family lost in a car accident in recent years. In September 2008, McGuire's older brother, Andrew, died in a car accident.

"Andrew, now you and your brother Daniel are together again," Doug McGuire, their father, wrote recently on Andrew's online obituary. "Hold him close, as you always did when you were with us. I miss you both terribly, and someday we will all be together again."

Daniel McGuire's car was the fifth in a line of vehicles damaged or destroyed when the big rig collided with 10 vehicles on northbound Highway 17 near the Lexington Reservoir. McGuire was partially ejected from his vehicle. Seven other people were injured, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Born and raised in Santa Cruz, Daniel McGuire is described as the smart kid who needed to read through a textbook only once to learn the material before acing a test, said Joel Hersch, his longtime friend.

Hersch, who has written for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, remembers taking a statistics class with McGuire at Santa Cruz High School that was anything but easy.

"Daniel never asked a question, never raised a hand in class and he would get As on every test and I was struggling," he said. "I asked for his secret and he's just like, 'I just listen in class and listen to music really.'"

After he graduated from high school, McGuire bounced from one community college to another, enjoying education and life. He went to a community college near Lake Tahoe for one semester for the snowboarding season before enrolling in a community college near San Luis Obispo to enjoy the area's rock climbing venues.

"He could've gone to any school he wanted," said Rejeana McGuire, his sister. "He was just really wanting to go have fun and he still maintained his grades, so why not."

McGuire eventually found his way back to Santa Cruz where he attended Cabrillo College before he transferred to San Jose State University to study business. But his style of studying didn't change, said Rejeana, 27.

"He would be like, 'I got to study' and lay down on my couch and fall asleep," she said. "Then we'd wake him up and say, 'Daniel, your class starts in five minutes.'"

After Andrew died, something changed in Daniel. He took on the mannerisms, movements and even smile of his brother, said Hersch, who was good friends with the brothers.

Just as his older brother was an emotional rock for many people, Daniel McGuire also matured into the rock for his friends, according to Hersch.

"(Daniel) grew up faster than most because of his early loss, but I know his experiences helped him to be a rock for a whole lot of other people, including me," Hersch wrote in a Facebook post memorializing McGuire. "I remember (Daniel's) honesty with me right after Andrew died and being entirely impressed by the way he expressed himself. The crux of what he said was that he felt entirely shattered but felt the need to live on for his brother."

McGuire graduated from San Jose State in 2012 with a degree in business and business marketing. McGuire worked at Triple Crown Consulting office in Campbell as a recruiting manager and team lead at the time of his death.

Monica Jackson, a friend and colleague, described McGuire as "a wonderful, smart, genuine guy" in a remembrance written on the company's website.

"You don't find them just anywhere, but I'm thankful for getting the opportunity to get to know him over the past two years," she wrote. "Heaven has gained an angel."

While McGuire was a quiet man in his own right, he also had a sense of humor and a way of coining phrases that caught on within his circle of friends and family.

"Daniel's way of being funny, you couldn't ever imitate it," Hersch said.

Almost a week after the accident, Hersch and McGuire's sister can't go a day without hearing a catchphrase from one of his many friends. The morning after his death, Hersch and four of Daniel's friends gathered at their favorite beach spot to mourn and reminisce about their lost friend.

Hersch said, "When we all met that morning we all had tears in our eyes, but as we started telling stories had to start laughing. But the pit (sic) in the stomach keeps coming back. It feels like a very cruel world that DM would be taken out the same way that his brother lost his life."

A memorial service to remember McGuire will be held at noon Saturday at the Kaiser Permanente Area, 140 Front St. in Santa Cruz.

While the owners of the arena initially turned down requests to hold the memorial there, McGuire's family and friends persisted until the owners said yes.

Biagio Scarpello, who is engaged to McGuire's sister, said the way the arena was booked was symbolic of how Daniel McGuire worked through any sort of dilemma, "to be told no and not take that no and use our network to make it happen."

McGuire is survived by his parents, Doug and Gail-Jean McGuire; his sister; and his girlfriend of almost six years, Jessica "Jaja" Oliveira.

Born: Aug. 14, 1988

Died: July 10, 2014

Home: Santa Cruz

Occupation: Recruiting manager.

Education: San Jose State University, class of 2012

Survivors: Parents, Doug and Gail-Jean McGuire; his sister, Rejeana McGuire; and his girlfriend of almost six years, Jessica "Jaja" Oliveira.

Services: A memorial service will be at the Kaiser Permanente Arena, 140 Front St. in Santa Cruz, at noon on Saturday. In honor of Daniel McGuire's love of the 49ers, the family invites attendees to wear 49ers gear or red and gold. In lieu of flowers donations should be made to the Santa Cruz Boys and Girls Club. ------ (c)2014 the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) Visit the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) at www.santacruzsentinel.com