1 dies in rollover; Wreck victim remembered for playful personality

By Erika Pedroza | Published Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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Andrew Walker had a Roger Rabbit tattoo on his left leg and chicken feet and scratches above his right knee.

Those who knew him say random, playful, comical choice of body art is a perfect example of the 21-year-old’s personality.

Andrew Walker

“He would ask people if they wanted to see his chicken scratch … then he’d show them his tattoo,” said Joan Reicheneker-Belote, owner of Yesterday’s in Bridgeport, where Walker worked as head busser for three years. “His sense of humor was hilarious because he hardly ever talked. But when he did, it was always something funny that came out of nowhere.”

Just like the tattoos.

“We made so much fun of him, but he didn’t care,” Reicheneker-Belote said. “It fit his personality, that’s for sure.”

Walker, a Bridgeport resident, died in a one-vehicle rollover near Lake Bridgeport Saturday afternoon.

Fatal Wreck

FATAL WRECK – State Trooper Greg Reyero aids in the investigation of a one-vehicle wreck in which Andrew Chase Walker, 21, of Bridgeport died Saturday afternoon. In addition to state troopers, Lake Bridgeport Volunteer Fire Department and Wise County medics and sheriff’s deputies responded. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

According to investigators, it appears Walker was southbound on Farm Road 2952, approaching a curve, when he veered off the roadway, caught the edge of the pavement and overcorrected, losing control of the Dodge truck he was driving.

The pickup rolled sideways before splintering a telephone pole and coming to rest in a thicket of brush.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. Walker was the only occupant of the truck, and no other vehicles were involved in the wreck.

Investigators believe speed was a factor in the crash, which occurred around 5:30 p.m.

“My heart breaks for his family,” said Crystal Netterville, who worked with Walker at Yesterday’s. “I know we will never understand God’s reasoning behind taking Andrew home, but I hope his family can find something to comfort them in this dark time.”

For Reicheneker-Belote and Netterville, that comfort comes in their cherished memories of Walker, who they describe as quiet, hard working, friendly and fun.

“I loved looking at the schedule and seeing he was the busser,” Netterville said. “He was always in a good mood. He worked hard and was an honest man. He had fun and made his friends laugh and enjoy their time with him … He loved – loves (I know death won’t stop that) – his family.”

“I remember his goofy laugh and cute smile,” Reicheneker-Belote added. “He was such a hard worker; he rarely complained when asked to do extra work. We have missed him ever since he left to work in the oilfield (two years ago), but we knew he found a great opportunity.”

And although those who knew him were proud for him and his career advancement, they lament the missed opportunities to see their friend.

“Since he found a better career path to follow, I haven’t heard from or been around Andrew much,” Netteverville said. “And now it tears both my husband and myself up to know that we no longer have the option to.”

The loss of their friend is a wake-up call.

“As adults, we each get busy working and taking care of our responsibilities and forget to make time for the important things – friends and family and making the time to enjoy the life you have that’s not promised,” Netterville said. “Andrew still had a lot of living to do.”

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