Teen killed when car leaves roadway, rolls in southwest Fort Worth

Officials have released the name of the teenage driver who died late Thursday in a single-vehicle wreck in the 3800 block of Altamesa Boulevard in southwest Fort Worth.

Germain Harris II, 16, was identified by the Tarrant County medical examiner's office as the occupant of the vehicle.

He was a sophomore at Crowley High School, school officials confirmed Friday afternoon. An estimated 400 to 500 students went to the school's library to meet with members of a crisis response team, the officials said.

The wreck happened about 10:20 p.m. in front of an Arby's restaurant, according to a MedStar spokesman.

A westbound 1992 Lexus coupe was traveling at a "high rate of speed," said Sgt. Pedro Criado, police spokesman.

"The vehicle lost control on a wet roadway, moving to the right," he said. "The vehicle went over the curb and began to roll over."

The car struck a pole supporting a sign in front of the restaurant, Criado said.

Harris died at the scene, according to the medical examiner's office.

Jakeeta McGhee, manager at the Arby's, said the wreck happened after she went home around 9 p.m. She noted, however, that a light shower passed over the area during her shift.

Scattered light showers were reported Thursday night in Tarrant County, said Dan Shoemaker, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. He noted that only scant rain can create a road hazard.

"If you get a little bit of rain, all that does is lift the oil from cars that's on the pavement, which makes it real slippery," Shoemaker said. "It's just like adding a layer of lubrication to the roadway."

The wreck upset the Arby's crew that was working at the restaurant, McGhee said. One of the workers called her right after it happened.

"I said, 'Go out and check on the guy,'" McGhee said.

But, she said, when the worker returned to the phone he was distraught with news that the driver did not survive.

The accident scene is three-tenths of a mile east of Southwest High School, also on Altamesa, where students this week mourned the loss of classmate Eric Forrester. The 17-year-old senior was fatally shot when he surprised burglars in his home on Monday.

Crowley High School principal James Hunter wrote to parents Friday to notify them about the death of Harris and to outline how the school is responding.

In the letter, available in English and Spanish, Hunter also gave suggestions on how parents can support students dealing with the loss.

“Experiencing, witnessing or even hearing of a traumatic incident may affect a child or adult in a variety of ways,” Hunter wrote. “You can expect that your child will be affected in some way by this tragedy, even if he or she did not know Germain well.”

Guidance counselors from other Crowley campuses and other specially trained staffers met with 400-500 teens individually and in small groups to discuss their grief and reactions.

Although classes went forward with the regular schedule, 40 to 50 students chose to go home from school early, said Dan Powell, Crowley schools superintendent.

“I think that things have gone as well as possible," Powell said. "When we are high school age we kind of think we are invincible.

"Reality comes home in a little bit harsher way at that age.”