One by one, cars full of teenagers pulled up to Twin Falls High School on Sunday night. Students stepped out into the warm evening air and held candles as they stood in a semi-circle around the rock in front of the school. The words “Rest in Paradise T Hatty” was painted in the front in white, a blue heart on the bottom. On the back of rock: Hatfield 12.
They were there to mourn friend and classmate Terex Hatfield, a Twin Falls high school student who would have been a senior in the fall. Hatfield was killed Saturday in an collision near Fall Creek Lodge on Anderson Reservoir.
Hatfield was killed when two personal watercraft collided about 6 p.m. Saturday. Two other juveniles were involved in the crash, according to the Elmore County Sheriff’s Office.
Hatfield was pronounced dead at the scene while another person was flown to Boise with non-life threatening injuries. A third juvenile was uninjured, a sheriff’s office statement said.
An Elmore County dispatcher said no other information was available Sunday afternoon but that the crash was still being investigated.
Terex’s parents David and Jill Hatfield attended the vigil along with their son D’Artagnan and daughter Mercedes. Their daughter Jordan is serving a mission in Italy.
The four of them lit their candles and placed them in the ground around the rock. As the family stood in silence, others around them sobbed softly and sniffled.
“He was so strong physically and mentally,” Jill said. “He loved everybody. Terex was his own person. He would do anything for his little sister. It didn’t matter if it wasn’t cool.”
Jill described her son as, “perfect, fun and caring,” and said her family felt grateful and blessed by the support of the community.
David Hatfield said his son was tender and kind to his siblings and loved to give hugs to his little sister.
Hatfield played for the Twin Falls varsity baseball team during the spring and was a member of the Twin Falls Cowboys American Legion team as well.
David said his son took an interest in baseball when they lived in Gooding. He said when his family moved to Twin Falls, they fell in love with the community. The outpouring of support has meant a lot to his family, he said.
“Terex had a huge heart,” said Twin Falls Bruins and Cowboys head coach Tim Stadelmeir.
He described Hatfield as a quiet leader.
“When he said something, people listened.”
And while he wasn’t always in the sports headlines, Hatfield was an invaluable and selfless player, the coach said.
“You hear a lot of coaches complain about how selfish (players) are … We knew that this summer was really going to test us. We had 18 guys and seven outfielders,” Stadelmeir said. “We’ve been kind of rotating some outfielders, and were trying to get Mason Farr a look in front of scouts. I pulled Terex aside and I started to tell him, ‘You aren’t doing anything wrong.’ He cut me off right in the middle and said, ‘I know this is an opportunity for Mason and his playing time.’”
That moment showed exactly what kind of character Hatfield had.
“He was everything that we want in the Twin Falls baseball program,” Stadelmeir said. “It’s unfortunate, the whole situation.”
R.J. Scovel, who played with Hatfield on the Twin Falls Bruins and Cowboys, remembered his friend and teammate Sunday afternoon.
“As a teammate, he always had your back,” Scovel said. “No matter what happened, he was the first one to back you up no matter what your relationship was with him off the field; he would be there for you.”
And as a friend? Hatfield was the same way, he said.
“He was just there for you, he was the kind of guy that would go out of his way to make those he loved happy. I’ll definitely remember our baseball memories; we played together since I was 12 years-old.”
Hatfield was extremely close to his family.
“He loved his family so much and he showed it to them and everyone around,” Scovel said. “He’s just the kind of guy you want in your life forever.”