A candlelight vigil will be held tonight for a Burleson Centennial High School student who passed away after a Wednesday wreck.
Though the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office has not confirmed his identity yet, BCHS Principal Ikie Holder sent a letter to parents informing them of the loss of senior Dawson Barnes.
Barnes was killed in a wreck on Hidden Creek Parkway in Burleson.
Burleson Police Chief Billy Cordell said witnesses said Barnes was traveling westbound on Hidden Creek.
“He veered to the left for some reason and struck two vehicles and continued on and struck a light pole,” Cordell said.
A post on the Centennial Spartan Baseball Facebook page announced the loss.
“It is with great sadness we share the news of the passing of our friend, teammate and brother, Dawson Barnes,” the post reads. “He is one of a kind, and our hearts are broken for his family [Wednesday night]. We are asking that everyone wear blue [today] in memory of Dawson.”
BCHS head baseball coach Brian Tickell said the first time he met Barnes was when he was working out in the weight room.
“When he wanted something, he went after it with everything he had,” Tickell said. “When he struggle,d he would do the extra things. He had a fear of failure, but his will to win was greater. He had a smile that was infectious and a love for baseball all his friends and teammates that was unmatched. Family-oriented incredible young man.
“He wanted to please others and never disappoint. His positive attitude and full-of-life personality made him a great leader as he mentored the younger guys. He truly cherished his time with his friends and teammates. Looked at them as his family.
“He wanted to be a part of something bigger than himself and wanted his teammates to do the same. A star that shined bright. A kid you would want the whole community to be like.”
In the letter sent home to parents and students, Holder said there are counselors available on campus today to assist students and faculty.
“Experiencing, witnessing or even hearing of a traumatic incident may affect a child or adult in a variety of ways; therefore, it is very important that children and teenagers be given ample opportunities to ask questions and to talk about their reactions,” the letter reads. “For some students a death of someone they know may remind them of some other loss in their lives. For other children this may be their first encounter with death.”
When reacting to a traumatic incident, a child may display the following behaviors: clings close to adults; displays regressive behaviors; appears not to be affected; thinks about it privately; asks a lot of questions; appears frightened, agitated and angry or sad and withdrawn; or displays difficulty sleeping, stomach aches and/or headaches.
“You can expect that your child will be affected in some way by this tragedy even if he or she did not know Dawson well,” the letter reads. “We encourage you to talk to your child about what happened.”
If your child shares information with you regarding this experience, please take time to talk to them, the letter reads.
“It is important for our children to have their feelings acknowledged and to help them understand that it is okay to feel sad or cry,” the letter reads. “It’s also OK if they do not feel anything right away. Sometimes it can take a while for children to show their feelings, sometimes days or weeks, and that is normal.
“No matter when the feelings surface, it is important to clear misconceptions and be honest. Because our school is like a family, we will share happy and sad times together.”
During this “difficult time,” it will also help your child if you are a good listener, provide physical closeness and encourage them to ask questions and discuss their feelings.
“You and your student are important to our school community, and we will support each other through this,” the letter reads. “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. We are keeping Dawson’s family in our thoughts and prayers.”
The vigil begins at 8:30 p.m. at the CHS baseball fields.