‘He was always making people laugh’: Family remembers son, brother after crash kills 2 Van Zandt county teens

Local News

VAN ZANDT COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Two East Texas teenagers were killed Monday night after their car struck multiple trees.

A DPS report states that 18-year-old Kenneth Leonard was driving a 2001 Nissan M20 on FM 47 around 11:30 p.m. He was driving “at an unsafe speed” and lost control of the car when he went around a curve.

Family remembers son, brother after crash kills two Van Zandt county teens

Leonard, a Van native, tried to get the car back on the road, but overcorrected and went into a side skid. The Nissan went off the highway and struck several trees. The crash site was roughly twelve miles south of Wills Point.

He was pronounced dead at the scene along with an unnamed 17-year-old girl. Both were taken to Eubanks Funeral Home in Canton.

KETK spoke with the family of Kenneth Leonard.

His father, Kenneth Leonard Sr. said “He did a lot things for a lot of people and he got a lot of friends…he’s blessed because of it.”

According to his family, he was always making people laugh.

Samantha Bird, Leonard’s sister said “We were looking through pictures and I don’t think there was a single picture where he wasn’t making a funny face.”

Leonard’s sister, Alexandria Govea, had one important message to add.

” I guess everybody can take away from this is. Please wear your seat belt and don’t speed. Speed limits are there for a reason. Don’t put your parents and your family through this, you might be young but you’re not invincible.” 

– Alexandria Govea

“There’s not one of us that would be where we’re at without him….we’re blessed for that,” said Leonard Sr.

The funeral service will be Friday at 2 p.m. at Hilliard Funeral Home.

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