ELM MOTT, TX - The West Independent School District has confirmed that an 18-year-old killed in a Thursday evening traffic crash was a senior student at West High School.
Jacob Bates was pronounced dead at Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Hospital where he was taken after the crash.
The Department of Public Safety reported the crash occurred about 6:45 p.m. on the southbound side of I-35 just north of Elm Mott..
Troopers reported that two lanes of the interstate were closed because of a hazmat spill that had occurred earlier and traffic was moving slowly.
Bates was in a 2013 Ford pickup and apparently did not notice that the 18-wheeler in front of him had stopped.
His pickup collided with the back of the truck.
West ISD Superintendent David Truitt posted the news on the district's Facebook page and noted that counselors would be on hand Friday morning at the school, with members of the West Ministerial Alliance and Region 12 Crisis Team on hand as well.
All student activities for the day Friday were cancelled including a baseball scrimmage, pep rally, softball scrimmange, Middle School and High School cheer tryouts and the West High School boys basketball game against McGregor High School, saying the focus needs to be on the district's kids and the Bates family.
"It's times like these that I feel so blessed to be in West. I know everyone will come together to support each other and most importantly… the kids," said Superintendent Truitt.
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