Northeast Tarrant

Man who killed himself at Watauga City Hall lost his wife in 2007 car crash

John Hart of Watuaga survived a 2007 car wreck caused by racing teens that killed his wife Lucy, shown in the photo he is holding. Hart, who suffered from depression, killed himself Thursday afternoon inside Watauga City Hall.
John Hart of Watuaga survived a 2007 car wreck caused by racing teens that killed his wife Lucy, shown in the photo he is holding. Hart, who suffered from depression, killed himself Thursday afternoon inside Watauga City Hall. Star-Telegram archives

The man who killed himself at Watauga City Hall on Thursday lost his wife in a street racing wreck in 2007 and had been suffering from depression, his mother said Friday.

John Hart, 52, walked inside Watauga City Hall about 3:45 p.m. Thursday, sat down on a bench and shot himself, authorities said.

His mother, Sue Herrera of Flower Mound, said she last spoke to her son on Wednesday and he seemed fine.

“Of course I wasn’t looking for anything to indicate that anything else was going on,” Herrera said. “He suffered from severe dementia, but I don’t know of anything else that was wrong with him.”

She said Hart also had been treated for depression, including since being injured in a car wreck eight years ago that killed his wife, Lucy Hart.

The accident happened about 9 p.m. Oct. 11, 2007, as the Harts were returning to their Watauga home from Walmart. Driving north on Rufe Snow Drive in North Richland Hills, the Harts’ 2005 Kia was hit in the front and back by two cars that were racing, one driven by Amanda Sykes, then 17, the other by Cody Smith, then 19.

Lucy Hart was pronounced dead at the scene. John Hart suffered a brain injury and a broken pelvis, ribs and collarbone.

His mother said he never really got over the wreck and loss of his wife.

“It just lingered on,” Herrera said.

During sentencing in 2010, Sykes and Smith both received 10 years’ deferred adjudication probation. Sykes, of Keller, had to serve 90 days in jail and Smith, of Fort Worth, 120 days, according to the plea deal reached with prosecutors.

Herrera said her son still lived in Watauga and was “just a very, very good person.”

“Sometimes I wonder if there was something else in the picture that we didn’t know about,” Herrera said.

This story includes information from Star-Telegram archives.

Lee Williams: 817-390-7840, @leewatson

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