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Western New York native dies while hiking on California mountain

Andrew Niziol was 28 years old and lived in South Lake Tahoe. New York Beer Project said he was devastated to learn of his death.

LOCKPORT, NY – A Western New York native was identified as one of two people who recently died while hiking on a California mountain.

The two were identified as Andrew Niziol, 28, of South Lake Tahoe, California, and Patricia Bolan, 29, of Davis, California, according to a report from TEGNA station KXTV in Sacramento.

Niziol is originally from Lockport, a family friend who did not want to be identified told 2 On Your Side that he once worked at the New York Beer Project, which he said was “devastated” to learn of his death.

New York Beer Project learned of Niziol’s death on Friday and issued a statement Saturday morning to 2 On Your Side. He worked there for more than two years, the company said.

RELATED: 2 Northern California hikers found dead on Mount Whitney identified

“Yesterday, New York Beer Project was devastated to learn that Andrew had passed away. Andrew spent over two years at New York Beer Project and was a beloved part of our team,” the statement read.

“From the moment he entered the building to the moment he left, he lit up the room. Andrew had an infectious personality, a love of life, adventure and the outdoors. He was a favorite among co-workers and our guests. Andrew always had a smile on his face and made others happy. We pray for Andrew, his family and everyone affected by this great loss.”

The Tulare County Sheriff’s Office is leading the investigation. The cause of his death has not yet been revealed.

The bodies were found on Tuesday after an effort that included the use of a helicopter and search and rescue teams.