LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - For the second time this month, the University of Arkansas-Little Rock mourns the death of a freshman.
The school confirmed Thursday that 19-year-old Eduardo Alvarez died in a car crash off Rahling Road in West Little Rock earlier this week.
“The UALR community has been very negatively impacted by the fact that we have lost another one of our students,” said Dr. Terry Richard, a sociology professor.
Less than two weeks following the death of Patrick Wilson from injuries sustained during a skateboarding accident, Alvarez died Tuesday evening after crashing his car into a pond.
It could be easy for a university to not feel much impact from a first-year student’s death, because many freshmen have not yet established themselves on-campus. But Alvarez had a family history at UALR, and those who met him will not forget him.
“He had a contagious smile,” Dr. Richard recalled. “He was very much of a people person, and we loved him. And it really hurts to have lost someone like that.”
Alvarez was following a bit in the footsteps a bit of his older brother, Ricardo, whom he looked up to. They both earned scholarships to attend UALR, and Ricardo used to be the president of the same League of United Latin American Citizens chapter that Eduardo was becoming involved with.
“I texted Ricardo earlier today to let him know how heavy the hearts are in many of our Latino students,” said Dr. Richard, who is the faculty advisor for the group.
Neither the Arkansas State Police nor the Little Rock Police Department will release any information related to the crash. But his professor knows where Alvarez was headed in the bigger picture.
“He was on a track also for success. For success in life,” Dr. Richard said. “Like a lot of Latinos that are here, they have their American Dream, and they are willing to work hard to achieve that American Dream.”
Friends set up a GoFundMe account to help the Alvarez family pay for the funeral, and they are close to their goal of raising $10,000. Looking through the list of donations and some of the accompanying comments, one can see how Alvarez connected to people and the difference he made in their lives.
“That’s what really hurts, you know,” Dr. Richard explained, “when you really see somebody who has that potential, and has that personality that you know is gonna really serve him well, in any occupation that he chooses, and then to lose that. It’s gone now.”
UALR is planning a memorial for Alvarez Friday at 6:00 p.m. in Room D of the Donaghey Student Center.