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Community Gathers to Remember LaKarl Williams
By David Gonzalez
Friends, family and loved ones gathered on Thursday evening to remember a life cut short after a fatal car accident on Kell West over the weekend.
Early Sunday morning, an SUV driven by 18-year-old Marquis Dennis lost control while traveling on Kell East, rolled across the median and ejected Dennis and three other passengers.
Dennis continues to improve and is listed in fair condition at a Fort Worth hospital.
Wichita Falls Police say 18-year-old LaKarl Williams died from his injuries on Monday at United Regional.
Police officials say 18-year-old Kamary Wiley remains hospitalized in good condition.
They say 17-year-old D'Shan Harley was the only teen in the vehicle wearing a seat belt and was not thrown from the vehicle.
Also, because Harley and 16-year-old Reggie Smith are minors, United Regional officials will not release information on their conditions.
On Thursday evening, community members gathered to remember LaKarl and to pray for the other four victims who are still recovering from their injuries.
The vigil outside of Hirschi High School brought together a community who hopes this tragic accident will help save other lives.
Nia Cole, LaKarl's childhood friend, says LaKarl was an amazing person.
Another friend, Venijia Barney, says Tutu, as LaKarl was known to his friends, was one to make other's smile.
Barney says, "He thought of the positive, not the negative. He had goals. He had ambition. He had stride."
Traulet Carroll, LaKarl's aunt, says you would always find him with a basketball in his hands.
"He loved basketball," Carroll says. "That's the only thing he ever wanted to do was to play basketball."
In addition, Barney says coming together to remember LaKarl at Hirschi is what he would have wanted.
"Hirschi is where it all began," Barney exclaims. "Hirschi is where Tutu got his start. Hirschi is where Tutu got do what he loved the most and that's basketball."
Through the tears and sorrow, friends and family say there is a lesson to be learn after this tragedy.
Cole says, "Just buckle up. That's all I can tell you. Cars are dangerous. You just need to be careful.
Barney says, "Safety is always first. Safety is never second."
Carroll says, "It's very important to wear your seatbelt. They do save lives."
A viewing for LaKarl will take place on Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church located on 809 Harding Street.
The viewing will be following by a service starting at 2 p.m.