Students, Teachers Struggle to Cope With Loss of Young Student

Teen killed in hit-and-run crash Tuesday morning

Extra psychologists are at William B Travis Academy in Uptown Dallas Wednesday where 13-year-old Ethan Vasquez attended school.

Vasquez was killed Tuesday morning during a hit-and-run crash with a driver trying to elude police.  The boy's mother, Sandy Vasquez, was critically injured in the crash and remains hospitalized.

The school Vasquez attended is for academically gifted 4th through 8th graders who have some of the top STAAR test scores in the state.

"I remember him in the halls, he seemed to always be happy and laughing, had a lot of friends. Was just a good all-around student and kid," said Principal Mari Smith.

Smith said the regular school counselor and an extra staff psychologist with the Dallas Independent School District will “follow” Ethan’s schedule, period by period and classroom by classroom, and simply sit in the back of class. They’ll be there as needed for any classmates who may need to leave the classroom or talk to a professional.

The seventh graders were notified in a school assembly at about 3 p.m. Tuesday to inform them about Ethan's death. All of the students also received a letter to take home to their parents.

"A young man lost his life. That’s never easy. It’s just a shock," said Smith. "It’s just senseless. It’s hard for everyone to grasp, and to understand."

This is the first student death in the 14-year history of William B Travis Academy, according to Smith.

She said the friends and family members of the driver in the hit-and-run need to come forward to police.

"This family is going to need closure. I’m sure anyone who has a heart, that was responsible, it would be very difficult to live with knowing a young life was taken because of a stupid act you did."

Police are searching for as many as two people who are believed to have run from the scene of the crash. At this time, a description of the driver is not available.

Oak Farms Dairy is offering a $15,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the driver of the vehicle that hit Ethan and Sandy Vasquez. Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Dallas police

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