Benefit Held for Accident Victim - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/8/04

Benefit Held for Accident Victim

Friends and family hold a multi-purpose benefit a month after a fatal crash.

"It happened in front of the store," said Tony Barnett.

Last month, he lost a family friend right in front of his office. 16 year-old Landon Velasquez was killed instantly when his pickup collided with a utility truck on 82nd St. in front of Accessory Depot.

Five weeks later, there is food and music and hot rods.

"This is a benefit to raise awareness for aggressive driving and heart arrhythmia," said Barnett.

While speed may have played a role, medical reports indicate Velasquez may have blacked out from a heart condition moments before the crash.

"It touched us all really," said friend Kim Merimon.

Also in the pickup, Jade Elkins, Landon's girlfriend. She survived but with serious injuries. Released from the hospital just recently, Saturday's event was also a fundraiser for her medical bills.

"Landon drew this picture just hours before he died, and we made a t-shirt out of it and are selling it to raise funds," said Merimon.

One of the groups playing was the band that Landon belonged to. And taking it all in, a woman in a Sponge Bob t-shirt, Landon's mother.

"This was Landon's favorite t-shirt, and I wore it (Saturday) to remember him," she smiled.

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