‘Everybody gravitated to him’: O’Connor coaches remember former student, football player who made impact off field

Charles Trammell III died Saturday night in Fort Worth

An O’Connor High School graduate was killed after being struck by a vehicle while helping stranded students change a tire on the side of a Fort Worth interstate

SAN ANTONIO – The O’Connor High School community is mourning the loss of a former student and football player.

Charles Trammell III, 20, died in Fort Worth on Saturday night when he was struck by a vehicle while helping stranded drivers on a busy highway ramp.

“This is an unfortunate example of we’re not guaranteed tomorrow so it’s important that we live today, and live in a way that people are going to remember you,” said O’Connor Head Coach David Malesky.

Malesky learned Sunday afternoon that Trammell was involved in an accident and later died. He said the news shocked the O’Connor family and Trammell was a young man many people looked up to.

“He was everybody’s friend. Kids in general, they kind of have their group of special friends, but Charles always seemed to be a friend to everybody,” said Malesky. “He had a laugh that was a little bit different. It was kind of like a Santa Claus laughing with those deep ones.”

Trammell graduated from O’Connor in 2019 before moving on to play football at Texas Wesleyan. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Trammell was helping stranded students change a tire on a ramp to Interstate 30 when he was struck by a driver and thrown off a bridge. The newspaper reported the driver has been charged with intoxicated manslaughter with a vehicle.

For his old coaches, it was not a surprise to see Trammell continue to help others in need after he graduated high school.

“Everybody gravitated to him. Everybody knew who Charles was and that wasn’t just on the football field, but that was also at school,” said O’Connor Assistant Coach Shane Messer.

Both coaches said his selflessness was a part of who he was, and he was always there for family and friends.

“He’s just one of those kids you want to hug and he would want to hug you back, and so that permeated into really who he was,” said Malesky.

Since the news of his death, former teammates and those who knew Trammell have been sharing their love and support for his family on social media. A celebration of life was scheduled for Thursday evening at Wildhorse Park on the Northwest Side.

“The whole community is reaching out to make sure him and his family are being taken care of,” said Messer. “He was a great young man, a good person. It’s hard when they’re that young.”


About the Authors:

RJ Marquez is co-host of KSAT News Now and reports for Good Morning San Antonio. He's been at KSAT since 2010 and covered a variety of stories and events across the San Antonio area. He also covers the Spurs for on-air and digital platforms, including his Spurs newsletter. RJ has reported stories for KSAT Explains.