2 Killed In Fatal Wreck; Community Comes Together - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/15/2007-Chapel Hill

2 Killed In Fatal Wreck; Community Comes Together

An East Texas community is banding together after losing a star athlete in a car accident.

The accident, which also killed a Longview woman, happened Tuesday afternoon in Smith County on FM 850, just south of Highway 31.

17 year old Chapel Hill Senior offensive lineman Derek Timms is being mourned. He and teammate 18 year old Marquis Warren were headed to afternoon football practice.

Warren is in good condition, recovering from a broken hip.

While folks in Chapel Hill pray for Warren's recovery, their hearts naturally go back to the young man they lost.

"Our team is our family," said Head Football Coach Phil Castles, Chapel Hill High School.

That family is coping with the loss of a brother, a friend, a teammate.  Number 77 right tackle Derek Timms.

"So when you loose a family member then you have to lean on your other family members.  This morning the team read scripture, prayed, and turned their hearts to what they can do for his family," said Coach Castles. "It's just like losing a son to me and a brother to these players."

Timms was a team captain. Coaches said he probably would have been all state.

"Got a big ol' body and a big heart to go with it. Didn't have any enemies," said Coach Castles.

More remembered than his abilities on the field was Timms dynamic personality.

"Very humble, very loving, very self sacrificing. Hard worker, and an integral part of the team," said Coach Castles.  

"These are some of his very best friends," said high school counselor Frances Palmer. "He was one of those unforgettable young men. Because he was so big and had such a beautiful big smile. He always had that smile on."

Derek planned on going to college, majoring in business, and playing football.

"We go through the hurt and we go through it together. And we lean on our Lord and our weakness is his strength," said Coach Castles.

Strength they will call on not just for this loss, but for Marquis Warren, now facing a long recovery.

"He is so thankful to be alive. Got a great attitude because that is the kind of kid he his. He told me, 'Coach, I am truly blessed that that truck showed up with water to stop the fire'," said Coach Castles. "We are going to be there for Marquis and encourage him through his surgery and rehab."

Encouraging each other and remembering a young man that leaves a giant hole in the team's heart.

"We are not going to worry about the season or football or anything else right now," said Coach Castles. "The Lord God is in control and we will get through this together."

Funeral services for Derek Timms have not yet been set.

We mentioned at the top of the newscast, a woman also died in this wreck. She was identified as 35 year old Heike Cooper of Longview. At the family's request, no other information is being released about Cooper.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com


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