On May 5, a member of the Alvin community was lost in a car accident outside Loraine, Texas, approximately 60 miles west of Abilene. 

According to a preliminary report from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Colton Hugh Scopel 18, was traveling east on Interstate 20 just over a mile east of Loraine when his 2011 Ford F-350 veered left, struck a guardrail and continued through the center median before striking a concrete pillar beneath the overpass at County Road 424. 

He was not wearing his seatbelt. 

Words of sadness and condolences from across Alvin began spreading quickly on social media Sunday evening after the community learned of the sudden, untimely death of Scopel. 

Scopel was a senior at Alvin High School and was scheduled to graduate in two weeks. 

Many people shared Jodie Keener’s long post in which she tells the story of what happened as she became one of the last people to see Scopel alive. 

Keener said she was inspired to make the post to comfort Scopel’s family that someone was with him in his final moments. She lost her husband in a car accident over 13 years ago and said she never had that comfort. 

The family has received an outpouring of support. The family has not asked for assistance in funeral expenses, but Scopel’s friend Bryce Belknap put his 2019 Crawfish Classic Champion Team Roper belt buckle up for auction on Facebook because he wanted to do something for his friend, his father, Shawn Belknap, said in the post announcing the auction. As of writing, the highest bid was $3,200, with others expressing a desire to donate in the hundreds outside of the auction. Alvinite Kellie Hooper Hightower has opened her PayPal account at kmhightower_1985@yahoo. com for Belknap to accept donations to support the Scopel family. 

Cattleman Western Store sent its condolences to Colton’s parents, Jason and Jessica Scopel, on Monday, describing Colton as “wonderful, funny and big-hearted” and remembering him as a welcome regular at the store since childhood, his grandfather bringing him in for new boots every time he outgrew the ones he had. 

“When he was still a child, and Justin Chukka boots were all the rage, Colton wanted a pair of those "yellow shoes" (that's what he called them!) so bad because his Grandpa wore them. We tried to fit him, but he just was not big enough. As he moved into adulthood and his own life, he was just as regular in here, buying hats and shaping them himself and looking for new shirts too! 

"He was larger than life for one so young, and he always made us laugh,” the store’s Facebook post said. 

The city of Manvel sent its condolences Tuesday. 

“This family has a great legacy and commitment to our surrounding communities, and we are saddened to hear this news. We are a little smaller today,” a post on the city’s official Facebook page read. 

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