Frost: Family of teen killed in freak football accident keeps his spirit alive

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FROST, Texas (KWTX) An area family who suffered an unimaginable tragedy this week is turning their devastation into something positive.

Lane Shifflett, 14, passed away in a freak accident involving a piece of football training equipment at the Frost ISD playing field Sunday. (Family courtesy photo).

Lane Shifflett, 14, was killed in a freak accident Sunday evening.

Shifflett and a friend were playing around on the Frost ISD football field when a piece of equipment they were moving fell and crushed him in the back of the head.

Family said doctors told them he was killed instantly.

"He didn't hurt, and he didn't know what even hit him," said Donna Shifflett, Lane's grandmother.

Sources say the metal piece of equipment is used to train linemen to stay low.

"No words can explain how it was, you would have never thought that it would have happened the way it happened, ever," she said.

A popular football and basketball player, Shifflett's death has left the small town of about 700 people shocked and heartbroken, most of all his family, who says Lane was the center of their world.

"He was everyone's favorite," said his aunt. "He's going to be missed more than anything in the world."

His grandmother, who he called "nanni," says she can't fathom life without him.

"I don't even think about the future, right now I'm putting one foot in front of the other," said Donna Shifflett. "I can't even think about tomorrow...just day by day."

The Navarro County Sheriff's Office was called to the football stadium to investigate the death and has closed the case.

"The accidental death of this young man was a terrible and tragic event," said Sheriff Elmer Tanner in a statement sent to KWTX. "Incidents like this not only affect the victim and his family but our community as a whole. Hearing about the loss of this young man has saddened us all. I ask that you please keep his family, friends, school and community in your thoughts and prayers."

"I would also ask that you please keep our first-responders and law enforcement personnel who responded to the scene and handled the incident in your prayers as well," he said.

With Frost being such a tight-knit community, several of the responding firemen were close family friends of the Shiffletts.

Frost ISD Superintendent Mickie Jackson released this statement in honor of the student's memory:

"Lane was loved by everyone in our school. He had so many friends in all different grades because he was so likable, funny, and unpredictable. He was a talented athlete for the Polar Bears, and when he wasn't playing, he'd be at the games anyway to watch his friends play. Lane could probably be best describe as just a good, old-fashioned country boy who would be hunting, fishing, and driving his ATV whenever he had a chance. It was how he liked to spend his time with his friends and with his family. Our school and our whole community have just been overwhelmed by this loss."

"We are doing what we can to prepare for the students to return and help them cope with this tragedy. We plan to have counselors available and the staff will be vigilant in assessing when students may need support. This is just going to be a really difficult start to the year," she said.

Classes begin for Frost ISD Monday.

Shifflett's funeral service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Frost ISD Auditorium.

The family is encouraging people to drive "Gators" and "ATVs" to the funeral in Lane's honor.

Following the service, they will drive to the family's ranch where Shifflett will be buried under a grove of trees next to his favorite dog "Big Mama".

The visitation was 6-8 p.m. Friday at Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home in Corsicana.

The family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a scholarship fund in Shifflett's honor.

The family is going to hold an annual skeet shoot tournament to raise money for scholarships for Frost students who exemplify Lane's spirit to continue his legacy of love.

Donations can be made to Community National Bank & Trust of Texas in Frost where an account is set up in Shifflett's name.