Scene of a fatal Ganado crash

A Ganado boy was killed in a two-vehicle crash Tuesday night on East York Street near Brown Street in Ganado.

A 12-year-old Ganado boy was killed in a two-vehicle crash Tuesday night.

At 8:16 p.m., authorities were notified of the fatal crash in Ganado on East York Street near the intersection with Brown Street, said Police Chief David Merritt.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families,” Merritt said. “We have a strong community, and there are people to help in the grieving process.”

At the intersection, a Toyota Highlander carrying the boy that was driven by his grandmother collided with a Dodge Ram pickup with one person inside.

Merritt said everyone involved appeared to have been wearing seat belts at the time.

LaMarquis Lee was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash by Jackson County Justice of the Peace Darren Stancik. No one else was reported injured.

Stancik has requested an autopsy.

Merritt declined to release the names of the drivers involved, saying the crash was under investigation.

While the police chief said he could not provide a detailed description about how the crash may have occurred, he said it was one of the worst he had ever seen.

He said the Toyota Highlander sustained severe damage to the side in which LaMarquis was riding.

Texas Department of Public Safety officials are assisting Ganado officers in the investigation.

The speed limit on York Street near the crash is 50 mph, and weather conditions at the time were clear, he said.

No one involved in the crash has been arrested or ticketed.

Merritt said Ganado Independent School District officials sent notifications to parents and students notifying them of the death of the boy, who was a student.

Superintendent John Hardwick said students learned about the boy’s death at a morning meeting in a campus cafeteria.

That sad information, he said, was passed on with candidness but also sensitivity.

The boy, he said, was a sixth-grader. Hardwick described the district he oversees as small, intimate and one in which “everybody knows everybody.”

“We communicated with all staff and let them know to be prepared this morning,” he said.

About 675 students are enrolled in the district which teaches kindergarten through 12th grade. Although classes continued Wednesday, staff and faculty were advised to be ready to help students through their grief.

Considering the district’s small size, many staff members undoubtedly were grieving themselves, Hardwick said.

Some students, he said, took the day off.

Throughout the day, counselors, some from nearby districts, will be available for consultation in a campus media center.

“You let them know there is support,” he said. “It’s going to affect different students differently.”

Jon Wilcox reports on courts for the Victoria Advocate. He may be reached or 361-580-6515.

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Jon covers crime, public safety and the courts at the Victoria Advocate. Born in Huntsville, Ala., he grew up in Atlanta, Ga. and obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism at Texas State University.

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