Alex Sanchez had a smile as big as the Texas sky.
And those who knew him not only remember that smile, but his loyalty to family and friends.
Early Sunday morning, Sanchez died in a two-vehicle accident that claimed another young life, that of 26-year-old Lyle Thomas Hussong.
Services for Sanchez will take place at 11 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church Stephenville. Visitation will take place from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Stephenville Funeral Home.
The crash occurred about 2 a.m. Sunday on U.S. Hwy. 281.
According to the DPS accident report, Sanchez, driving a 2014 white Chrysler 300, veered into oncoming traffic and struck Hussong’s green Ford flatbed head-on.
Hussong’s truck flipped and landed on its top; Sanchez’s car caught fire.
Both men died at the scene.
The Stephenville community and Tarleton State University are reeling from the tragedy.
Sanchez was a 2013 graduate of Stephenville High School where he excelled in soccer and football. After graduation he went on to play football for Tarleton as a wide receiver.
The university issued a press release Sunday following news of Sanchez’s passing.
"Alex was a special guy within our program," said head coach Todd Whitten. "He was truly loved within the Texan Football program and we will miss him terribly."
According to the release, Sanchez made his first career catch on Nov. 8, 2014 with a 25-yard reception against Midwestern State and was a key contributor on special teams during Tarleton's Lone Star Conference Championship season in 2013.
Sanchez, a business major, was set to begin his senior year this fall.
He is the sixth Tarleton Texan football player to die in the past six years.
In March 2010, Zach Shaver died from a head injury he received during practice. That loss was followed by the deaths of Cody Stephens, Camron Owens, Christain Champine, and most recently Brayden Coverdale who passed away on March 14, 2016.
Sanchez and Coverdale were close friends who played football together at Stephenville High School.
Sanchez was still grieving the loss of Coverdale when he, too, died unexpectedly.
As the community and Tarleton try to make sense of yet another tragedy, friends of Sanchez are taking to social media to share their grief.
“No matter the circumstance he always had time for his biggest fans. Big smile, big heart. Rest in peace Alex Sanchez,” Monica Diaz posted on Facebook.
Lauren Powers wrote, “Great guy who always wore a smile. Heaven gained another Tarleton athlete today. Rest in peace friend.”