Family of Ropes student killed in crash encouraging others to ‘#LiveLikeHunter’
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Lubbock family is honoring teenager Hunter Mayhall’s legacy after he was killed in a crash, encouraging others to #LiveLikeHunter. The 18-year-old Ropes student died in a rollover Tuesday morning on an icy Brownfield Highway while on his way to school.
Since the crash, the Mayhall family has seen an outpouring of support from Ropes and the surrounding communities, including several schools wearing green at their basketball games, green lights at the Jones AT&T Stadium, and a moment of silence at the Lady Raider basketball game Sunday.
His parents, Jerrod and Mandi, say that support is a result of Hunter’s kindness and the impact he made on friends and strangers.
“He had the biggest heart of anybody I’ve ever met. I’m not just saying that because he’s my son, he really, he had a huge heart,” Mandi said.
Hearing the mark Hunter left on others has been one of his parents’ biggest blessings since losing him last week. He was a football player and a powerlifter at Ropes, and his big sisters’ biggest protector. His older sister Ciana says he told the cheesiest dad jokes, laughing before he got to the punchline.
“He wanted you to smile. He wanted you to laugh. He wanted you to feel good,” Mandi said.
His dad says Hunter was always more concerned about others than himself and was his football team’s hype man. His teammates visited the Mayhall family at their home to share the impact Hunter had on them.
“Even on some of their worst days, he made that day great. Just making them laugh, or letting them know the day wasn’t as bad as they thought it was,” Jerrod said.
His family has some things to remember Hunter by, like a chair he had recently designed, built, and auctioned off at a Levelland stock show. Mandi’s coworker worked to find the owners and get it back to the family. They also have a school project Hunter intended to turn in on the day of the wreck. His friend, who was driving that day, went to the crash scene and pieced it back together, turning it in to Hunter’s teacher before bringing it back to his family.
“He wanted Hunter to get his grade for that project, so that meant, that meant a lot,” Mandi said.
As Hunter’s family has listened to countless stories about his impact and heard encouragement from friends, one message stuck with Jerrod.
”He said, you know, we’re born, from the time we’re conceived God has a plan for us. And sometimes we fulfill that plan quicker than others would like. And I think Hunter’s heart was so big, that he fulfilled in 18 years, and God called him home,” Jerrod said.
Ciana’s sister created the hashtag #LiveLikeHunter, to encourage others to carry on his legacy by being kind.
“That is what I am going to spend every day of the rest of my life doing, is live the way that he did. Live with the heart that he had. Love like he loved,” Mandi said.
The family also expressed their thanks for everyone’s financial support, as friends and strangers raised more than $27,000 to help them get through this time. Mandi says Hunter’s friend who was in the crash was released from the hospital but needs all of those supporters to send prayers his way as he processes what happened.
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