ARLINGTON - Hundreds of people gathered Sunday at the Arlington High School Athletic Center to remember a player who died in a single-car crash.
Arlington police said the crash happened around 3 a.m. Sunday as 18-year-old Clayton Winkles was driving east on California Lane. For some unknown reason, his car crossed into the westbound lanes then drove off the road and hit a tree.
Winkles' mother turned to Facebook to tell friends her son had entered heaven.
"I know our hearts are breaking! But my God is bigger than this! ... He loved life and God even more! So go to church and celebrate!" Tracy Winkles said.
Winkles wore number 11 for Arlington High School, but baseball Coach David Nix said he was his number one pitcher.
"A leader. Kids look up to him. Loved the game of baseball. His smile just brightened the room when he came in," Nix said.
"He loved fiercely. He forgave quickly. He had a passion for life," said Young Life leader Walker Johnson, who remembers fondly a barbecue tour he took Winkles and a group of guys on. "We wore a white t-shirt that said, 'This is my napkin.' And we weren't allowed to use utensils and we wiped all the barbecue sauce."
Counselors will be at Arlington High School Monday for grieving students.