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Hardin-Simmons athlete hit, killed by car remembered

Published On: Dec 24 2013 02:38:12 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 12 2013 12:58:30 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

New information in the accident that claimed the life of a young Hardin-Simmons University athlete reveals a 19-year-old was the driver who hit him.

Police said 21-year-old Taylor Huff was wearing dark clothing while walking in the outside lane on the south side of E. Ambler Ave. near Will Hair Park around 4:30 a.m. Sunday when he was struck. Officers said a 19-year-old driving a compact car hit him and Huff was dead by the time they arrived on scene.

According to officers, there was no sign the driver was intoxicated. KTXS has decided not to identify the driver since police released him after he gave a statement.

Huff’s teammates and coach gathered Monday to honor his memory. Roses were laid down at his locker.

“Taylor was a phenomenal  man—he was a burst of energy—a laugh when you needed it,” Captain and Receiver Colton Brewer said. “[He was] always the guy that came to work and came with a sense of pride and passion to what he did, what we did and all the while was never—never wanted to be anywhere but where he was and was always happy in his shoes and where he was at that moment. To be affected and be blessed enough to walk by a guy like that day in and day out is what I think Cowboy football is about and why people come to this place.”

Huff made the journey to HSU from Arlington. He was set to graduate in spring 2014 with an exercise science degree.

“His spirit was just an uplifting one—he was goofy and always had that straight face, his sense of humor was just awesome and you know we're going to miss him big time,” Captain and Quarterback Josh Christian said. “He was a leader, he wanted to help people, he wanted to better other peoples’ lives around him.”

Huff’s teammates said younger players looked up to Huff: He was unique and will never be forgotten.

“There is no step-by-step manual in the coaching business on handling something like this so…we just talked about our faith and our plan moving forward,” HSU Head Football Coach Jesse Burleson said. “That's what we're hanging everything on is sticking together and knowing God has a better plan for Taylor and for each of us.”

Burleson said the team hopes to plan a way to honor Huff in future games.

Huff’s memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday in Arlington at the Church on Rush Creek: Green Oaks Campus.