Diana teen killed in rollover accident

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

For the third time in a week, an East Texas teenager is killed in a car accident. 16-year old Lionel Rhodes of Diana died Saturday in a rollover on Highway 154 in Harrison County.

Lionel and his father, mother and younger brother, were in the rollover. For Lionel's father, Kenneth Rhodes, it would be the last time he was with his son.

"I pulled him from the car and I held him, so I had my chance to say goodbye," said Kenneth. "He was a good kid."

Lionel was a sophomore at Diana High School, in track, football and band. He loved to make people laugh. His family says he was everything they wanted him to be.

"He looked at me and said I could fix anything," said Kenneth. "He always wanted to be like me, but he taught me how to be strong in the midst of a storm; at 16 he taught me."

"He loved everybody," said Lionel's classmate Nicole Neuman. "A lot people loved him. He was a fun person."

"If you were good friends with him he'd sit down, talk to you about what's going on in your life, if you had any problems [he would] try and help you with them," said close friend and classmate Taylor Tennimon.

Those who knew him say Lionel made a conscious effort just to be a good kid, and they don't want you to forget him.

"He made me very proud," said Kenneth.

Kenneth Rhodes, his wife and youngest son were all treated for minor injuries. Right now, funeral arrangements for Lionel Rhodes are still being made, but family members say it will be sometime Wednesday at the New Diana High School auditorium.

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