Students, Faculty Cope With Loss of Student Killed in Hit-and-Run Crash

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ethan Vasquez's classmates at Travis Academy are still trying to cope with his death in a hit-and-run crash earlier this week, and want to know why the person responsible still hasn't been arrested. (Published Thursday, Apr 17, 2014)

    The hallways of Travis Academy are filled with memories of 13-year-old Ethan Vasquez, the student killed in a hit-and-run crash involving a stolen van on Tuesday.

    Outside, the school is draped in orange ribbon, Vasquez’s favorite color.

    Ever since the 7th grader's death, staff and faculty at his school have been comforting the 400 students that attend the school, as the reality sinks in.

    "Just told them that I had some difficult news to share with them," said principal Mari Smith.

    She was tasked with telling his fellow 7th graders, he had died in a car crash.

    "Their little faces," she said through tears. "It was very hard for me to tell them and for them to hear it."

    Taking a walk around the school, it's easy to see how much he's missed. Pictures of him hang in the hallways and stairways.

    Thursday night, students and parents were signing heartfelt messages on a banner. Already the family has received messages and read them. Principal Smith read some herself.

    "It just tore me up, I just had to walk away," she said. "It's just very emotional."

    Now this school pulls together to support each other and the Vasquez family.

    Already there are talks about preserving his memory long-term, with a tree in his name.