North Hopkins senior killed in car crash
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor, and
Faith Huffman
| News-Telegram News Editor

May 18, 2004 -- North Hopkins High School senior Scarlet Marie Thompson, 17, died early Tuesday morning as a result of injuries sustained when she was ejected from a1997 Toyota which overturned several times.

State troopers are still investigating the early morning wreck.

"It's possible she went to sleep," lead investigator Ken Adams said late Tuesday morning. "We are still investigating at this point, but I feel that she most likely went to sleep."

It was also noted that she was driving her mother's vehicle, not her own, which could have also been a contributing factor.

Thompson was discovered lying in a pasture at 1:38 a.m. Tuesday by first responders from Peerless Volunteer Fire Department, who noticed tire tracks leading off FM 71 west in Emblem community as they were returning home from a grass fire reported near the location. One firefighter advised dispatchers after discovering the vehicle, he located Thompson.

Firemen began CPR on the teen until emergency medical technicians arrived to take over medical care. Thompson was taken to Hopkins County Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 3:05 a.m. Tuesday by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Ronny Glossup.

Thompson was said to have been returning home from a friend's house in Sulphur Springs when her westbound Toyota went off the north side of FM 71. She then over-corrected to the south, or left, causing the vehicle to overturn and roll across the ditch, crashing through two barbed wire fences in a pasture before stopping in a creek. She was believed to have been ejected near the first fence, where she was located, according to Adams.

Scarlet Thompson was the daughter of Scotty and Pat Thompson, whose families are long time residents of the Emblem and Peerless communities.

"She comes from a very fine family I've know for practically forever," Glossup said. "She's a very bright young lady, in the honor society, Beta Club, and was fixing to graduate. My heart goes out to the family."

The 17-year-old's death has also had a large impact on her classmates at North Hopkins High School, where she was well-known and liked, according to school personnel.

"As you can imagine, it's an emotional time, and everyone's having a hard time dealing with it," North Hopkins Independent School District Superintendent Tommy Long said Tuesday morning. "It's a difficult time when you lose a student, and it's even more difficult when it's someone as popular and well-liked as Scarlet."

Thompson played left field on the softball team, was a yearbook staff member as well as member of the Student Council and Beta Club. Earlier this year she competed in the regional University Interscholastic League Contest after taking top honors in the district poetry contest, in which she earned third in the two previous years

"It's been real quiet around here today. Everybody's in a state of shock, and realization is just starting to set in, I think," Long said. "It's still kind of a numbness right now. Everybody's just kind of holding on. We've been told that's natural, and that the numbness will turn to grief and anger. There will be a feeling of 'Why her?' and 'Why now?' Those are questions we can't answer."

Extra counselors were made available Tuesday at the school to assist any student with their grief.

"We have counselors up here through MHMR, and other school districts have offered their services and personnel," Long said. "There's a lot of outpouring of sympathy, and it's appreciated."

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