21 years ago today the South Mountain Community College baseball team was riding high. They were in first place in their conference as they prepared to travel south to play Cochise College. The team loaded up in 3 vans and headed out. At 4:00P.M. when they were just outside of Casa Grande, tragedy struck.
The right rear passengers tired blew in one of the vans being driven by one of the players, 19 year old Thomas Eaton. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 19 year old valley native Alfred Stell Jr. Was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died.
The accident hit home for many people in west Phoenix. Stell was graduate of Carl Hayden High School and loved by many. He was a "gentle giant". Always polite and respectful and loved life.
Several other players were taken to local hospitals with various injuries and were released. The team decided to continue it's season in honor of both Stell and Eaton.
The tragedy of losing these 2 young athlete's, reminds us to live life to the fullest and not to take what we have for granted.