Tarleton State Campus Stunned By Death Of 3rd Student This Week

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email

STEPHENVILLE (May 2, 2013)--A Tarleton State University student was killed Wednesday night in a traffic crash, the third student in less than a week to die on the highway.

The Texas Department of Public Safety reports Anthony J. Gonzales, 26, of DeLeon, died just after 10:15 p.m. Wednesday when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a pickup truck on State Highway 6, about a quarter-mile west of Dublin.

On Sunday two other TSU students, a former TSU student and his wife, died in a grinding collision just north of Stephenville.

Students Courtney Kay Smalley, 18, of Lipan, her passenger Kimberly G. Peacock, 19, of Fort Worth, TSU graduate Matthew Lee Keith, 29, and his wife Audrey, 26, both of Searcy, Arizona, all died Sunday in a head-on crash on U.S. Highway 281 north of Stephenville.

TSU Vice President of Student Life Rusty Jergins said Thursday counselors have been summoned to the Stephenville campus to help students deal with the losses.

"Our students are just coping with the loss of their friends," Jergins said.

Gonzales was attending TSU pursuing a degree after completing an enlistment in the U.S. Army and was serving as a student assistant in the Recreational Sports Center on campus, Jergins said.

Funeral arrangements for Gonzales are pending in Dublin.

The university held a memorial service for Smalley, Peacock, and Matthew and Audrey Keith Tuesday.

At the time of the crash, the Keiths were headed back to Arkansas after visiting with Matthew Keith's father David Keith, who is pastor of the First Baptist Church in Carlton.

A service for Peacock, a sophomore who was studying animal science, was held Thursday at Cottonwood Baptist Church in Dublin.

A service for Smalley, a freshman interdisciplinary studies major, was held at 2 p.m. Friday in the Lipan High School gymnasium.

A memorial service for the Keiths is at 2 p.m. Saturday at Carlton Baptist Church.

A service for Gonzales will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in DeLeon.

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