Tragic Accident Takes Aggie OL

The Texas A&M football team and the east Texas town of Jacksonville was rocked on Thursday when senior offensive lineman Joe Villavisencio died in a two-vehicle collision outside of Normangee while on his way home for the holidays.

Texas A&M senior offensive lineman Joseph Villavisencio (pronounced VEE-ah-vah-sen- cee-oh) was killed in a head-on, two-car accident on Highway 39 south of Normangee today. His vehicle was traveling north on Highway 39 from North Zulch toward Normangee on his way home to Jacksonville, Texas. According to witnesses, Villavisencio's car swerved to avoid a buzzard in the roadway and his car went into the path of an oncoming 18-wheeler.

"Joey V. was a tremendous person and a great Aggie," Texas A&M Director of Athletics Bill Byrne said. "He epitomized selfless service in making Texas A&M a better football team. He was an excellent student and just a great kid. Joey always had a smile on his face and had such a positive influence on everyone. This is a sad day for Texas A&M and our hearts are broken for his family, his teammates and his friends."

Villavisencio was a true senior radiological health engineering major. He played his freshman season in 2008 earning his first career start on the offensive line in a 49-35 A&M victory against Iowa State in Ames, Iowa.

"The world lost a very special person today," former Texas A&M head football coach Mike Sherman said. "My heart aches for his mom, dad and sister, all of whom were so dear to him. His teammates, coaches and fellow students will remember him as someone who would do anything for anybody. I will always remember him as always offering me a smile whenever we talked and would always answer my questions with a simple, 'yes, coach' or 'no, coach'. He was one of the most respectful and high character players I have ever coached. It was an honor and privilege to have known him, and to have coached him. Although his life on this earth was way too short, his impact on the people he met will be everlasting. I will never forget him."

Villavisencio participated with his Texas A&M teammates earlier today in presenting gifts that were purchased by the Aggie football team for youngsters and families at the Twin City Mission in Bryan.

Villavisencio earned second-team all-state honors from The Associated Press and the Texas Sports Writers Association playing for Coach Randy Copeland at Jacksonville High School, while also earning first-team academic all-state honors as well.

Villavisencio, 22, is survived by his sister, Mikeala, mother, Christine, and his father, Jose Villavisencio of Jacksonville.
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