EXCLUSIVE: Kilgore teen's family speaks out after fatal crash

Kilgore teen's family speaks out after fatal crash
Chris Ballard (Source: Facebook)
Chris Ballard (Source: Facebook)
Chris in his Kilgore uniform (Source: Family)
Chris in his Kilgore uniform (Source: Family)

KILGORE, TX (KLTV) - Police have identified a teenager who died during a vehicle pursuit in Rusk County.

Tatum Police Department Chief April Rains identified the teen as Christopher Ballard, 17, of Kilgore. The Ballard family spoke today about the loss of their loved one, and what kind of person they want people to know he was.

"He's going to always be my annoying little brother. I mean I love him," Ballard's sister Tatyanna Ballard said.

Ballard said she and her little brother were extremely close.

"We'll all get [together] at our grandparents house and we would just have fun, chase each other around, talk about each other, just have fun," she said.

Ballard and other family members are speaking out about what happened the night Chris lost his life. They said he was on his way home after visiting his brother in Tatum.

"I just don't want them to make my brother seem like he's a bad guy for not stopping," she said. "My brother's not a bad guy, you're not [going to] make him seem like a thug, because that's not ... he wasn't raised like that."

Chris died Sunday night when he ran into a parked 18-wheeler during a high-speed chase with police. Police have not said why they believe he didn't stop.

His family isn't sure why, either.

"All I can think of, okay he's scared, he thinks he might go to jail and he's just, he was a teenager who didn't make a good decision," Ballard said.

For now, the family is focusing on happier times and remembering the last time they saw their loved one. Ballard was preparing for his senior year in high school and his family said he was looking forward to getting back on the football field for the Kilgore Bulldogs.

Funeral services are set for 3 p.m. Aug. 11 at First Baptist Church in Kilgore, according to the family. Burial is set to follow at Lakewood Memorial Park in Henderson. A public viewing is set from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday.

The family asks for all funeral arrangement donations to go towards their GoFundMe page.

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