LOCKHART, Texas -- Two high school "sweethearts" -- a current student and a former student at Lockhart High School -- were killed in a car crash, the district's superintendent told parents in a letter Thursday morning.
Senior Lauren Garcia, 18, and former student Isaac Garcia, 21, were killed in a crash that happened on Farm to Market Road 672, according to Superintendent Susan K. Bohn with the Lockhart Independent School District.
According to a release from the Texas Department of Public Safety, at 8:29 p.m. a 2011 Chevy Silverado was traveling westbound on FM 672 before approaching a curve just east of Dry Creek Road. As Lauren and Isaac Garcia's vehicle was heading eastbound along the same curve, for some reason, the Silverado passed into their lane, hitting them head on. Both Isaac and Lauren Garcia were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Silverado, Santiago Guadarrama Avila, 19, and his passenger, Fernando Adame, 18, were both taken to St. David's South Austin. Neither has been charged with a crime as DPS continues its investigation.
In a letter sent to parents, Bohn said Lauren was a "spunky, bubbly spirit, who always had a smile on her face. She is going to be missed by so many, not only at the campus but throughout the community."
Lockhart High School Speech teacher Melissa Hardaway said her first-period class just wasn't the same on Thursday morning without Lauren there.
"It was just really like, palpable the kind of tension that was in there of just, 'She was just here' and I kept just waiting for her to come in because she always came in."
Those who knew Lauren described her as the bubbly one with the infectious smile, the kind that lit up classrooms in the high school halls.
Hardaway added, "She was always cracking jokes and being silly and fun but she was also a really hard worker."
Lauren's boyfriend Isaac also left his legacy on Lockhart High. Guidance counselor Pam Andrews recalled some of her most vivid memories.
"He had this hat and he wore sunglasses inside the building, so today when I found out that's what I thought about."
Now Andrews is tasked with helping other students handle their grief while helping to keep the memory of their friends alive.
She added "Both, super pleasant and always really nice and polite. And it's just sad to see them gone."
Bohn said a campus counselor will spend the day visiting with each of Lauren's classes to help them grieve. Counselors will also be in the library throughout the day to help with students.
According to the Lockhart Post-Register, the families will host services for Isaac Garcia and Lauren Garcia throughout the weekend. On Sunday, a private viewing will be held at the McCurdy Funeral home, and they will begin receiving callers at 2 p.m. Also Sunday, there will be a recitation of the rosary at 7 p.m. The following day, their funeral service will be held at Lockhart High School in the Lion's Den Main Gym at 2:30 p.m. After the service, the couple will be buried side by side at Lockhart Municipal Cemetery.
Here is the full letter sent to parents:Dear LISD Family,
This morning, the Caldwell Sheriff’s Office contacted the district to share with us sad and terrible news. Last night, Lauren Garcia, a senior at Lockhart High School, and Isaac Garcia, a former Lockhart student, were both killed in a car accident on 672. The two were sweethearts. We are deeply saddened by this terrible news.
Lauren was on track to graduate this year. She was a spunky, bubbly spirit, who always had a smile on her face. Her teachers remember her as a strong person, focused on her future. She is going to be missed by so many, not only at the campus, but throughout the community.
One of the campus counselors is visiting students in each of Lauren’s classes throughout the day to help them through the grief. Additionally, counselors from other campuses will be at the high school campus library today to help any student needing a safe place to process this loss. Principal Deanna Juarez made the announcement to students this morning, letting them know about the counseling services and inviting them to come to the library as needed for help.
Tonight, your child may want to speak with you about the loss of their classmate. Such a loss can have a profound effect on a student. The news may be stressful to you as well as to your child, and it would not be unusual for your child to express him or herself differently in the next few weeks or days. Teens process loss in many different ways. They may want to be with their friends. They may feel they want to do something or talk to someone. Most importantly, be ready to listen. Loss of a friend or classmate will take weeks to process. Contact your child’s school counselor if you have ongoing concerns or need suggestions.
We do not yet have any details about memorial or funeral arrangements for Lauren, but we will share them when the information becomes available.
Lockhart is tightly-knit, so a tragic loss such as this is certainly felt throughout the community.
Please be assured that assisting students and supporting our community is our main concern during this difficult time.
I ask you to please keep Lauren’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.
Thank you for your continued support.
Truly,Susan K Bohn
Superintendent of Schools
Lockhart Independent School District