Friday, July 25, 2008

Steven's mother: 'He was an incredible kid' Pick Up Towing Trailer Looses Control

By Nicole Navarro and Vanessa Brown

BOISE - Steven Thompson loved to run.

His personal best in the mile was just over four and a half minutes. But it wasn't good enough - he wanted to be that much better.

"He was just a junior and he had a lot of goals this year," said Steven's mother, Gina. "He liked to work hard."

Steven, 17, was killed in a horrific traffic accident Tuesday on Highway 55.

He was headed to a cross country camp when a truck pulling a trailer lost control and smashed into the car he was riding in. The impact killed Steven and sent five others to the hospital - including two of his classmates and Centennial High School's assistant cross country coach Glenn Mabey.

"I saw him the morning of the crash and he was running around in his funny shades, hanging out having a good time," said Jordan Leisure, a friend of Thompson. "That's the last image I'm going to have of him and it's a really good last image."

His mother, fighting back tears, said it was hard recalling all the delightful things about her son. There were just too many to remember.

"He was an incredible kid," she said. "I wish I could tell you all the wonderful stories."

Idaho State Police identified Ryan Howard, 38, of Texas, as the driver who caused the accident. Howard was driving a Dodge Durango pulling a trailer when police said he lost control and jackknifed.

He smashed into a Subaru, killing Thompson and also ran into a van. Five people, including Howard and two other teens were taken to the hospital. Maybey is still in critical condition. Austin Stalling is in fair condition while Michael Dobkins was treated and released.

On Tuesday, friends at Centennial paused to remember their fallen friend. A profile page was also made on Facebook entitled "In Loving Memory of Steven Thompson."

"What an inspiration to all of us," said Tyler, who wrote on the page. "We love you, bro."

"It makes you just want to help people around you who are feeling really sad and really down and you really want to help them out, it's just a real shame," Leisure said.

On Thursday, the family of Stalling issued a statement.

"We would like to thank the entire community, and especially the track and cross country teams from Centennial, Eagle, and all the area high schools for your prayers and support."

"Austin continues to recover and improve daily, and we are so grateful to the excellent care he's receiving at Saint Alphonsus. We ask for your continuing support of all four families involved in this tragedy."

Steven's mother said she doesn't know what she's going to do next. The pain of losing her son is so new.

"I'm really going to miss him," she said. "I can't even imagine how hard it's going to be."

A memorial fund for Steven Thompson and a donation account for Coach Glenn Mabey have been set up at Capital Educators Credit Union.

Those interested in helping the victims of this week's tragic automobile accident can do so by making a donation at any Captial Educators Federal Credit Union.

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