DAYTON, Texas Folks in the town of Dayton celebrated the life of a man who died in a bizarre car accident. Investigators say the other driver was just 13 years old.
Friends of the victim tell KHOU 11 News the other driver s young age makes this even more tragic, all around. But they are trying to follow their friend s wishes, to send him off not with tears, but with a smile.
Saturday night at Billy Mac and Stacey s, friends were playing pool and dancing, getting ready for karaoke. But the main act was missing.
He s one of these people that makes everybody happy. You ve never seen anything like it, said friend Mike Piper.
Sixty-eight-year-old George Franklin Bennett, just Frank to his friends, was killed in a car accident Thursday, just down the road. The driver who hit him was only 13 years old.
I was disturbed by that, said Bennett s friend Bobby Quick.
It happened on Highway 321. Witnesses said the 13-year-old driver was pulling out of the family business when she plowed into Bennett s truck. There are still clear tire tracks, where Bennett s truck rolled in the ditch.
We stayed with him, said another friend Stacey McKeand.
Never alone, Bennett s friends came running down to help, but he was pinned inside.
I told him it was me and that we had help coming and just to hold on. He said, OK, said McKeand.
But he couldn t last long enough. Bennett died before the ambulance got there. Witnesses said the 13-year-old slowed down, but then kept driving. She eventually came back, but it s hard for friends to understand why she was behind the wheel.
Especially around a busy highway, it s very dangerous, said Quick.
Still, McKeand said, He would not want hard feelings from us toward that little girl, because he was just that way.
Bennett was also this way: If something ever happened to him, he didn t want us to sit around and cry, said McKeand.
Instead, he gave the bar $100 and told them to throw one more party on him.
That s Frank, you know what, just have fun, said Piper. I m gone and just have fun with that.
So that s what his friends will do, with one last piece of Bennett to help. They found his glasses in the ditch, and they re now sitting on a shelf in the bar, where they can still watch over the people Bennett loved.
I m gonna miss the hell out of him, said Piper.
The 13-year-old driver s family did not want to talk to KHOU 11 News Saturday. There s no word yet on whether she will face any charges.