TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - By Whitney Grunder
TRINITY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A 12-year-old Trinity boy was killed Tuesday night during a pursuit with law enforcement.
According to the DPS report, Scott Allen Williford was behind the wheel of a 2001 Dodge pickup and attempting to evade law enforcement on State Highway 94 in Trinity County, one mile west of Boontown Road, when he left the road and struck a tree at 8:48 p.m.
He was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:10 p.m. He was not wearing a seatbelt.
Constable Woody Wallace said investigators are still looking into how and why the boy got behind the wheel.
"It's devastating. It rips our hearts out," said Wallace. "I'm more concerned with the family and how they're dealing with this. My heart goes out to them."
According to a spokesman with DPS, Deputy Rusty Barrett with Constable Wallace's office was pursuing the vehicle after it was reported stolen.
Wallace said the Trinity County Sheriff's Department received a call from a man who reported his pickup truck had been taken by his son. According to Wallace, law enforcement was told to be on the lookout for the stolen truck, and that a 12-year-old was possibly behind the wheel.
DPS spokesman Greg Sanches said Barrett had stopped in the middle of the road and got out of his car to try to get Williford to stop, but that Williford drove around him. He wrecked about a mile or two down the road.
Wallace said the chase lasted 20 to 30 minutes.
"He was even running other cars off the road," Sanches said.
Groveton Junior High Principal Todd Moore confirmed Williford was a student at his school. He said his staff addressed the classrooms Wednesday morning and let the students know that counseling would be provided to them.
Fifth grade teacher Roxie Mueller waits by the bus ramp, to send each student off with a hug.
Monday, she greeted 12-year-old Scott Allen Williford. She taught him last year.
"I remember him saying Ms. Mueller! He'd always wave his hand. Hi Ms. Mueller! I gave him a hug. I asked him if he had a good day and he said great."
It was Allen's second day in middle school. Roxie had no idea it would be his last.
"He was just too happy. I didn't see any sadness or anger or anything in him whenever he left," said Mueller.
Teachers and students are shocked by the tragedy.
"I just wanted to cry when I heard the news," said Allen's sixth grade teacher Marla Larsen.
"I was hoping he'd go far in life but I guess God took him far with him," said Mueller.
Teachers aren't aware of any trouble at home. In fact Allen had a lot of friends and was very involved with his studies.
Larsen said he came to class excited to learn about science.
"It puts a damper on the week and it kind of puts a damper for the school year because you know they don't have this member of their class anymore," said Larsen.
He's remembered as an outgoing, hard working student with a big heart.
"Just after one day of teaching, any question I asked, his hand was up and he was eager to answer," said Larsen.
"He just loved to help. He'd always come to me and say is there something I can do?" said Mueller.
It's a devastating beginning to the school year.
Those who knew Allen say they'll never forget him or his love for life.