A senior baseball player at Burleson Centennial High School was killed Wednesday afternoon in a fiery traffic crash on Hidden Creek Parkway, according to Burleson police and school officials.
Officials with the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office have not released the name of the victim, but Burleson police and school officials say the 17-year-old was Dawson Barnes, a senior at Burleson Centennial High School.
“Our family has experienced a great loss,” according to a message posted Thursday morning on social media by school officials at Centennial High School.
The crash occurred about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday on Hidden Creek Parkway in Burleson.
Barnes was driving his vehicle on Hidden Creek Parkway when for an undetermined reason he lost control of it, hit two vehicles, veered off and smashed into a light pole.
On impact, Barnes’ vehicle caught fire and he was trapped inside, Burleson police said.
“We don’t have a cause (for the accident) yet,” said Burleson spokeswoman DeAnna Phillips in a Thursday email.
Burleson school officials noted district counselors would be on campus to assist students and faculty members.
“He had a smile that was infectious and a love for baseball, all his friends and teammates that was unmatched,” said Centennial High baseball coach Brian Tickell in comments he shared with school officials who passed his quotes along to reporters. “Family oriented, incredible young man.”
Tickell said Barnes wanted to be successful.
“He wanted to please others and never disappoint,” the coach said. “His positive attitude and full of life personality made him a great leader as he mentored the younger guys.”
Centennial High Principal Ikie Holder also sent parents a letter Wednesday following the accident.
Holder wanted parents to be alert for reactions by students to the traumatic incident that occurred Wednesday afternoon and offered some responses to distressed students such as, “I know ... it just seems unbelievable” and “It is especially hard when there are many unanswered questions.”
“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,” Holder wrote in the letter. “We are keeping Dawson’s family in our thoughts and prayers.”
Barnes received first-team honors at designated hitter on the District 5-5A All-District team. He also got second-team honors on the Texas Sports Writers Association Class 5A All-State team.
“A star that shined bright,” his baseball coach said. “A kid you would want the whole community to be like.”
A candlelight vigil was scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Thursday at the high school’s baseball field.