The community in Burleson came together to remember a senior baseball player whose life was cut short Wednesday afternoon in a three-vehicle crash.
A vigil was held for family and friends to remember Dawson Barnes Thursday night at the baseball field.
His baseball coach described him as a "full-of-life personality" and a "star that shined bright."
Burleson police say Barnes' vehicle was headed down Hidden Creek Parkway about 4 p.m. when it hit two other vehicles and then struck a light pole where it hit the front center of the vehicle. The vehicle caught fire and Barnes was trapped, police said.
The road was closed for five hours as police investigated. Police have yet to publicly determine what caused the crash.
His baseball coach Brian Tickell shared the following comments:
"First time I met him he was in the weight room by himself, working out...and I mean working hard. When he wanted something he went after it with everything he had. When he struggled he would do the extra things. He had a fear of failure but his will to win was greater.
"He had a smile that was infectious and a love for baseball, all his friends, and teammates that was unmatched. Family oriented incredible young man.
"He wanted to be successful in all he did. During tough times he found a way to figure it out and be successful. He wanted to please others and never disappoint. His positive attitude and full of life personality made him a great leader as he mentored the younger guys.
"He truly cherished his time with his friends and teammates. Looked at them as his family. He wanted to be a part of something bigger than himself and wanted his teammates to do the same. A star that shined bright. A kid you would want the whole community to be like."
The following statement was sent from Principal Ikie Holder:
Dear CHS Families: Our Centennial High School Family has experienced a great loss. I am saddened to share with you that Dawson Barnes, one of our 12th grade students, died today in an automobile accident. The accident occurred this afternoon on Hidden Creek Parkway. Tomorrow we will have district counselors on campus to assist students and faculty.
Experiencing, witnessing, or even hearing of a traumatic incident may affect a child or adult in a variety of ways; therefore, it is very important that children and teenagers be given ample opportunities to ask questions and to talk about their reactions. For some students a death of someone they know may remind them of some other loss in their lives. For other children this may be their first encounter with death.
When reacting to a traumatic incident, a child may display behaviors such as the following:
· Clings close to adults
· Displays regressive behaviors
· Appears not to be affected
· Thinks about it privately
· Asks a lot of questions
· Appears frightened
· Appears agitated and angry
· Appears sad and withdrawn
· Displays difficulty sleeping
· Stomach aches and/or headaches
You can expect that your child will be affected in some way by this tragedy even if he or she did not know Dawson well. We encourage you to talk to your child about what happened.
If your child shares information with you regarding this experience, please take time to talk with your child. It is important for our children to have their feelings acknowledged and to help them understand that it is okay to feel sad or cry. It’s also okay if they do not feel anything right away. Sometimes it can take a while for children to show their feelings, sometimes days or weeks, and that is normal. No matter when the feelings surface, it is important to clear misconceptions and be honest. Because our school is like a family, we will share happy and sad times together.
Some helpful responses to distressed students are:
1. “I can see that you are really hurting.”
2. “It’s very hard to accept the death of someone you know well.”
3. “I know...it just seems unbelievable.”
4. “It really hurts, doesn’t it.”
5. “It is especially hard when there are many unanswered questions.”
During this difficult time it will also help your child to be a good listener, provide physical closeness, and encourage them to ask questions and discuss their feelings.
You and your student are important to our school community and we will support each other through this. If you feel your child needs to speak with a counselor at any time, please do not hesitate to call or email our counseling team or campus administrators.
We are keeping Dawson’s family in our thoughts and prayers.
Centennial High School