Friends mourn Victoria man killed in crash
Jan. 8, 2014 at 8 p.m.
Updated Jan. 8, 2014 at 7:09 p.m.
Hunter Reid Tipton - or just Tipton, if you ask his friends - was an amazing person.
"He put himself last and put everyone else in front of him," Chasee Albrecht, 19, said.
Albrecht met Tipton in a field outside her grandparent's home when she was 12.
They were instant friends.
Tipton died early Wednesday.
"He was funny - he had an amazing smile," she said. "He was corny and really goofy. He would always try to crack jokes and everyone would laugh because they didn't make sense.
"He had such a big heart."
Tipton suffered critical injuries after being ejected from his truck Tuesday morning. He was northbound on U.S. Highway 59, 2 miles inside the Goliad County line, when he lost control of his truck and rolled, according to a Department of Public Safety report. He was not wearing a seat belt.
High school friend and paintball comrade David Boyd said it hit him hard when he found out about the accident. Boyd hadn't seen his friend since last summer because he now lives in San Antonio to attend college.
"It just kind of hit home - me and him were good friends," he said. "I thought, 'That's one of the guys I hang out with. That could have been me. That could have been anybody.'"
Boyd said people just don't meet friends like Tipton.
"He was very unselfish," he said. "Anytime you needed something, you could call him. Even if he was doing something, he would come help you."
For Boyd, 19, that meant catching a ride with Tipton to the paintball field in Mission Valley for almost four years.
"He played with his eyes closed, you know," Boyd laughed. "Every time we took a picture of him playing, his eyes were closed.
"He denied it.
"We weren't convinced."
Hunter Hidalgo, 19, said moments like that are what will make forgetting Tipton impossible.
"He was the wild one," Hidalgo said, reminiscing on a few memories of he and Tipton setting off fireworks in the halls of St. Joseph High School and driving around San Antonio, lost and looking for Six Flags.
"We must have circled that town two or three times," he said, laughing. "By the time we got there, we only stayed about half an hour - that was just Tipton.
"He was a good friend."