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Aspen High student dies

Steve Benson
Alex Terral (4) Shots for two during a December 18, 2003, Aspen High School basketball game. Terral died late Monday evening June 28 from injuries he recieved in a motor vehicle accident. Aspen Times photo/Paul Conrad.
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Alex Terral, a national merit scholar and member of the Aspen High School basketball team, died Monday from injuries sustained in a rollover car accident a mile east of Aspen last week. He was 17. Terral, who was going to be a senior, was in intensive care for several days, during which time the community and fellow students held numerous prayers and a candlelight vigil. Alex’s parents, Tim and Susan Terral, said their son was an amazing young man with a bright future. “He was a very social kid – he loved people, his friends, sports and parties,” said Tim, who volunteers as an assistant coach of the high school basketball team. “He had so many friends and he had a very quick wit.”He was very funny, smart, sensitive and caring – it all adds up to a great person.”

Tim added that he’s always said, “Having [Alex] was the greatest achievement of my life and I would never be able to top that.”Susan Terral: “He was one of those kids who was social and funny and had friends from all walks of life – kids that were younger than him and kids that were older – he was just an amazing person.” Terral was well rounded and was as gifted athletically as he was academically.In addition to being a national merit scholar, he was named to the Academic All-State First Team for excellence in the classroom. He was also pursuing an International Baccalaureate diploma at Aspen High, according to an obituary prepared by his parents. “He was a very good writer. He was going to be a writer from a young age – he was a great storyteller,” Tim said.

“He thought about being a sportswriter or a broadcast journalist,” Susan said. “He knew all of the stats of all the teams – he was like an encyclopedia. He was amazing.”His basketball coach, Steve Ketchum, said Terral was primed for a break-out season on the court and would likely have garnered some recruiting attention from colleges.”He was such a great kid and so funny – everyone was just attracted to him,” said friend and teammate Moss Schermerhorn. “He was probably one of the brightest people I’ve ever known, he could tackle anything. “He’s going to be missed as a friend and a teammate.” Terral was flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction following the accident, which occurred when friend and fellow Aspen High student Dustin Hite, 17, lost control of his 1991 Mercedes on Thursday. Terral, who riding in the front seat, was ejected when the car rolled.

Back-seat passenger Max Bardell, 15, was also ejected but was not seriously injured. Hite, who was the only one wearing a seat belt, and Bardell were treated for minor injuries and released. The accident remains under investigation by the Colorado State Patrol.Dr. Diana Sirko, superintendent of Aspen schools, said Terral “was very popular and well liked by many kids, and the staff has described him as very bright and an all-around great kid.”It’s a tremendous loss that everyone feels deeply sorry about – our heart goes out to the family.” Sirko added that Aspen High will open the counseling center and board room to provide support for students between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Thursday.”We thought it would be nice for the kids to have a chance to be together,” Sirko said. Steve Benson’s e-mail address is sbenson@aspentimes.com


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