West community remembers student killed in crash

WEST, TX - The West community is mourning the death of one of their students Friday. 

Jacob Bates died Thursday evening following a crash with an 18-wheeler on I-35 near Elm Mott. 

Bates was a senior at West High School with a true passion for football. 

Fox 44 spoke with the students at the school who knew Bates. 

Alyssa Hawthorn and Erin Schoen can't believe Bates is gone. 

Hawthorn says, "It kind of shocks me, it still hurts me. He played a big part of the community. 
I feel like it is always the good people that are taken first."

Jacob attended West ISD since kindergarten and school leaders call him an excellent student and a gifted football player. 

Hawthorn and Schoen add he had an excellent sense of humor. 
Hawthorn says, "He was usually with his friends laughing and stuff. I never really saw him sad or anything."

She adds, "What I mainly will miss about him is just seeing him down in the hallways."

This tragedy is a real eye opener for many of his peers. 

Erin Schoen says, "It makes me think just because I am young that bad things can't happen to me cause they can."

While Bates lived his life to the fullest, the community has one regret. 

"I wish I could have gotten to know him better and stuff because I know like a lot of people that did know him they like really respected him," says Hawthorn. 

While no words can soothe the family's grief, the students say there is light in the darkness. 

"I just want everyone like his family to know that he is looking down on us and he is happy. 
I know he is in the better place now," says Hawthorn. 

Friday, all school activities were canceled and counselors were available to talk to anyone who needed comfort. 
West ISD issued this following statement regarding Bates' death."

"West ISD is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our students, senior, Jacob Bates. Jacob attended West ISD schools since kindergarten and was a leader in the classroom, gym, and athletic fields. His classmates truly loved and admired him. We are a close-knit family in west, so this loss will impact many. I know our students and staff will need support during this difficult time. We are offering grief counseling at West middle and high school today, Friday, February 9, 2018, until 5:00 pm. Counselors will also be available on Monday, February 12, 2018. Any parent who feels his or her child needs additional support are asked to call my office at (254) 981-2000. Please continue to keep the family of Jacob Bates in your thoughts and prayers. West will continue to “rise up” and support our students, staff, and community."

David Truitt

Superintendent, West ISD

Go Trojans!

For the original story about the crash, you can click here.

More Stories

Trending Stories

Latest News