Fort Worth

Police find person of interest in hit-and-run that left student in coma

Student Aaron Lancaster was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Funnel Street and Alta Vista Road on March 19.
Student Aaron Lancaster was struck by a vehicle at the intersection of Funnel Street and Alta Vista Road on March 19. kbouaphanh@star-telegram.com

A person of interest has been identified, police confirmed Thursday, in a hit-and-run collision that left a far north Fort Worth high school student in a coma.

Aaron Lancaster, 16, was walking home from theater rehearsal at Timber Creek High School on March 19. As he was crossing Alta Vista Drive at Funnel Street, he was struck by a vehicle, police said. He still clutched his theater script as he lay in the street, severely injured.

The vehicle did not stop, and police said they believed it was a 2004-2006 gray Toyota Sienna minivan.

Fort Worth Police Department spokeswoman Tamara Valle confirmed Thursday that investigators have a person of interest, “but they are not ready to share more information just yet.”

Aaron’s friend and fellow thespian Megan McCormack said she saw Lancaster an instant before he was struck about 8:15 p.m.

“When I was driving home, I stopped and he walked in front of my car,” McCormack said. “I watched him walk most of the way across the street on the other side and I thought he was clear, so I drove. I missed seeing him get hit by a couple seconds.”

She said he was found lying in the street, still gripping the script the theater group had just finished rehearsing.

Aaron was an understudy for the cast of the school’s UIL One Act Play entry “Ugly Lies the Bone,” which will be performed at 7 p.m. April 7, with donations going to the 16-year-old’s medical care.

An account has been established to help Aaron’s family with medical expenses at gofundme.com/fundsforaaron. According to an update on the site Tuesday, Aaron was still in a coma and could soon be moved to a rehabilitation facility.

“Aaron is the sweetest person I know,” McCormack said. “Every morning, he would always have a huge smile on his face and he would hug every person he sees and tell them how much he loves them.”

The intersection where Lancaster was struck — near five Keller district schools — has been the site of some vehicle/pedestrian collisions and a lot of near-misses, according to the city of Fort Worth, which added a pedestrian-activated flashing light system about two years ago.

“The city of Fort Worth has done some things to make [the crosswalk] more safe, but it is not safe enough,” Timber Creek Principal Donald Bartlett said last week.

Bartlett said the fact that the driver sped away after hitting Aaron puts him “at a loss of words.”

This article contains information from Star-Telegram archives.

Mark David Smith: 817-390-7808, @MarkSmith_FWST

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