Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
An Eastern New Mexico University student from Missouri died in a car accident early Sunday morning 10 miles north of Clovis. State police officials said Monday they are still investigating the cause of the accident.
Jarrod Michael Knox, 18, died in a one-vehicle accident, which occurred at 2:07 a.m. on Sunday, according to a state police press release. Lt. Jimmy Glascock of NMSP said Knox was the only person in the vehicle and no one else was injured. Knox was a freshman at ENMU.
Knox graduated from Pleasant Hope High School in Missouri, which is about 20 miles north of Springfield, Mo.
“Jarrod was active in school activities and volunteered on his own to help kids,” said Sheryl Knox, Jarrod’s stepmother. “He was a born-again Christian. He was a very outgoing person. We’re going to miss him, but we know he’s going to be with his Lord.”
Heath Waters, athletic director and head baseball coach at Pleasant Hope High, said Knox played baseball and basketball before graduating in May.
“It’s difficult,” Waters said about hearing the news. Waters said he spoke briefly to Chuck and Kim Knox, Jarrod’s parents, to give them his condolences. “He was a great kid. It’s tragic when you lose someone at that age. We (at Pleasant Hope) are saddened by his death.”
Glascock said Knox was traveling north on New Mexico Highway 209 when his white 1999 Isuzu vehicle crossed from the right lane onto the left side.
According to the state police report, the vehicle traveled off N.M. 209 and into the right-of-way ditch. The report said the vehicle traveled down the ditch until it hit a culvert crossing Curry County Road 20.
The vehicle vaulted over the roadway and overturned end over end, coming to rest on its roof. Knox was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene, police said.
Glasscock said Knox was not wearing his seatbelt.
“Any time you lose a student it hurts us badly,” ENMU President Steven Gamble said. “We offer our sympathy to Jarrod’s family. Around other universities, it is the main topic for university presidents. It just kills us. We lose students to accidents before their time.”