Eric Alvarez

Jordan-Matthews student dies in single-car accident


SILER CITY — Jordan-Matthews High School student Eric Alvarez, 17, died in a single-car accident near Siler City last Saturday, Feb. 4. 

Alvarez, who was driving alone in a 2005 Mazda, swerved off Silk Hope Liberty Road near Siler City at 5:40 a.m. He hit multiple mailboxes on Still Waters Drive before crashing into a business sign and two trees, according to the incident report from N.C. State Highway Patrol. The incident report said the expected speed of the vehicle was close to 90 miles per hour at the time of impact. 

His teachers at J-M remember Alvarez as a motivated student who could always make his peers laugh and smile.

“Eric had a way of making you smile, even on your worst days," Leslie Wilkie, a Jordan Matthews teacher, told the News + Record. "I had the privilege of having him in my classes and got to know him on a personal level. He was a great person to be around and I could always count on him for a laugh. He will be greatly missed by those that loved him.” 

Others said Alvarez was a respectful and courteous student to all.

“Eric was the greatest representation of what it means to be kind and respectful," said Lane Bray, a J-M teacher. "He was an amazing young man who will be missed by us all. It was an honor and a privilege to have known such a wonderful human being.” 

J-M had counselors on campus Monday to help students and staff, and counselors are available for any students or staff who need them, according to Chatham County Schools officials.

His funeral service was held Thursday, Feb. 9 at Smith & Buckner Funeral Home in Siler City. To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Eric Alvarez, please visit the S&B flower store.

"Eric was of the Christian faith," his obituary read. "He loved to play soccer and video games. He enjoyed eating out and spending time with his family. Eric couldn't wait until it was warm to spend time at the beach, or in the pool."

Alvarez is survived by his parents, daughter, girlfriend, grandparents and great-grandparents. 

Reporter Ben Rappaport can be reached at or on Twitter @b_rappaport.

Eric Alvarez, Jordan-Matthews High School, Chatham County Schools, N.C. State Highway Patrol