Loved ones remember crash victim

Published: Mar. 28, 2016 at 1:49 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 28, 2016 at 1:58 AM CDT
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LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - 33-year-old Simon J. Keel died last night after colliding with an 18-wheeler at the traffic light at 4400 Clovis Road.

Police say the 18-wheeler was stopped at the light. The light turned green and the 18-wheeler began to travel through the intersection when Keel rear-ended the vehicle in his Dodge Durango.

Keel was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the 18-wheeler suffered minor injuries.

The collision happened Saturday night around 11:30 p.m.

Keel is survived by three children and according to Keel's girlfriend, they were his world.

Krista Braziel was listed as Keel's emergency contact so she says she was woken out of sleep by the news.

"At 5 a.m. the cops rang my doorbell and they told me," Braziel said tearfully. "It took me a long time to even realize that it was real."

She says Keel had moved to Lubbock only four days before the deadly accident.

"He would give the shirt off his back to anybody," she said. "He was a hard worker, a great dad, he loved his kids a lot."

She describes him as being a big-hearted father of three kids whom he adored.

"He was a very loving, doting father who spoiled his kids, spoiled me," Braziel said.

She says he worked hard and had mastered several trades, plumbing, mechanic work and carpentry. Work opportunities were scarce in Mims, Florida as their population is 7,000 so he came to Lubbock for the higher demand.

He had planned to move back by the summer.

"He always made sure I was taken care of through everything, just so loving and affectionate and giving and anything I needed or wanted, he was right there," she said. "He had it all for me."

She says he was a perfectionist and determined.

"I would say my favorite thing about him was how stubborn he was, really stubborn with all things that were important to him so whether it was he just wanted to go to see me and I would be like, well I can't because of this, he would be like no," she said. "He was stubborn and he would make sure it would happen."

His 12-year-old daughter Katelyn Keel reached out to KCBD to give a statement:

"I miss him. The sight of the pictures of the car were too much, I don't see why he had to die. He's always been the best, he always let me go hang out with friends, have sleepovers, I even remember when you two (Keel and Braziel) let me go Dingdong ditching. He was all I could have ever needed, I don't have a bad thing to say about him. He always tried his best to put us first. If a genie popped up right now, all I would want is him back. He was the best dad and I would do anything to have him back."

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