Students remember high school senior struck, killed in front of school

- Counselors are on hand at MacArthur High School where a student was run over and killed as he walked to school this morning.  A 17-year-old student, Jose Torres had just left home from his apartment right across the street from his school MacArthur High.  He was crossing on Aldine Mail Route Road heading to school at 6:55 a.m.  The high school senior made it across the first two lanes, the westbound lanes, and was waiting in the center turning lane for traffic on the eastbound side to clear.  That's when a pickup truck heading west slammed into the teen killing him.           

The Harris County Sheriff''s Offfice said that a 34-year old mother was at the wheel of the pick-up truck.  Officers said the woman ran over and killed Torres, while her own son was in the passenger seat. Torres was actually her son’s schoolmate.

”There was a car that had come to a stop.  Somebody obviously didn't want to wait and went around, and they were going at a pretty good speed,” explains resident Mary Trevino. 

"Now he's gone.  It's like literally a nightmare.  I keep replaying the things I said to him and the things we said to each other.  We were just talking yesterday.  He had so many things to look forward to,” cries Torres’ cousin Noami Ibarra.

"I can't really believe that he's actually gone.  I keep on thinking it's just like a joke and he's going to come back later,” explains the teen’s cousin Julio Penlaoza.

Investigators say the woman was likely driving 35 to 40 miles per hour when she ran into Torres.  ”They definitely need crosswalks here,” adds Trevino.  There are crosswalks at the end of the block, but residents say kids from the apartment complex tend to cross in the middle of Aldine Mail Route because it’s a shorter walk.  John Roberts has lived here 23 years and he says too often the yellow warning lights on the 20 mile per hour school zone sign are not flashing during student arrival and dismissal.

”The speed limit right here in front of these two schools is 35 MPH.  I asked an Aldine ISD police officer one time how come you're not giving people tickets. He said because the lights not flashing, legally we can't do that,” says Roberts.  Harris County Sheriff’s investigators say they are looking into whether the lights were working.
Torres was the oldest of four kids, was said to be an amazing soccer player, was set to graduate high school in May and comes from a large close-knit extended family.  “He was literally like my best friend.  Every weekend 'hey come pick me up' and here I am, always with him,” cries his cousin.
The woman who ran over Torres is not under arrest.  However, the case will be reviewed by the grand jury to figure out if she will be charged. A prayer vigil in memory of the high school senior is scheduled for tonight at 7:30 across the street from the school.

Aldine ISD officials released a statement about this devastating loss:

This morning one of our MacArthur High School students was struck by a car and killed on his way to school. 
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones. 
Counselors will be available to students and staff to assist them during this difficult time.


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