Diana Zoga

Community Rallies Around McKinney Teacher Who Lost Son in Drowning

In McKinney, the community is rallying around a beloved teacher who lost his 16-year-old son in a drowning accident Tuesday.

Aaron Hill, a rising junior at McKinney North High School, died while trying to swim across a pond at a McKinney golf course around 8 p.m.

Hill's father, Ira Hill, said his son was with three friends who told him Aaron had nearly made it across the pond when he began struggling. The friends tried to help him, but Aaron went under.

"There are no words for a parent to bury a child," said Ira Hill at his family's home in McKinney.

He said his son was outgoing and a natural leader. Hill adds that Aaron was a good student and would have been a starting corner-back on the McKinney North football team this fall.

"His attitude, his character. With everything going on today with our youth, Aaron set himself apart from that," said Hill. "He chose to do the right things, he chose to live an upstanding life."

In the hours after the drowning, Hill's colleagues at Slaughter Elementary School stepped in to help. Hill, a P.E. teacher at the school, lost his wife, Terry, to cancer less than three years ago.

"Ira has not asked for help, but we at Slaughter Elementary feel strongly about helping our family and community members," the colleagues wrote on the Go Fund Me page set up to benefit the Hill family.

"For them to initiate what they've done and what they're doing, it just speaks volumes," said Hill. "Humanity is strong and it's kicking."

Hill said he and his surviving son James, 20, are staying strong for each other. Hill said the family was just getting used to their "new normal" since losing Terry before Aaron died this week.

"I pray to God there is peace in this household after this, but right now I just can't see peace," said Hill.

He said he is haunted, thinking about his son's last moments.

"I'm just sorry I wasn't there for him to be able to reach down and pick him up," said Hill.

Funeral arrangements are pending. Hill has asked for prayers for his family as they move forward without Aaron.

"I will not go to his graduation, I will never see his children. But, I must say that I enjoyed every single second with Aaron Hill, every second," said Hill.

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