UPDATE – 9:52 p.m.
The Hays CISD community is mourning the loss of two Lehman High students who passed away in separate incidents over the holiday break.
According to a letter sent to Hays CISD parents, district officials were informed on Christmas Eve of the death of Joshua Gregorio “J” Marquez, who was a Lehman High freshman.
Details of Marquez’ death are unknown at this time.
Three days later, on Dec. 27, Hays CISD officials were notified of the death of Michael Mince, 15, of Kyle, who was a Lehman High sophomore.
Mince was killed when he was struck while walking along FM 2001 by a pickup truck.
Authorities are currently searching for the driver who fled the scene of the accident.
“The Lehman High School and Hays CISD communities have suffered two tragedies during the past three days,” said Hays CISD spokesperson Tim Savoy. “Anytime a student dies it is tremendously painful, but particularly when it happens during the holiday season. Our hearts are heavy and we are praying for the families of Joshua and Michael. We are mourning the losses, but also finding comfort in knowing that these two precious students gave us so many gifts and joyous memories during their short time with us.”
According to the letter, Hays CISD crisis counselors will be at Lehman High when students return to school Jan. 5.
Below is the letter sent to Hays CISD parents
Dear Hays CISD and Lehman HS Facebook family. We have some sad news to report. We lost two LHS students this Christmas break. Here is a statement we just sent to local media. I wanted to share it with you as well:
Lehman High School Principal Denisha Presley and Hays CISD Superintendent Michael McKie regret to announce that two students have died in two unrelated incidents during the Christmas break.
On Christmas Eve, the district learned that Lehman freshman Joshua Gregorio “J” Marquez died. His obituary and funeral plans are online at: http://www.harrellfuneralhomes.com/obituaries/Joshua-Marquez/#!/Obituary.
On December 27, 2016, the district learned that Lehman sophomore Michael Mince was killed while walking alongside a roadway in Kyle. Funeral plans are pending.
The Lehman High School and Hays CISD communities have suffered two tragedies during the past three days,” said Hays CISD spokesperson Tim Savoy. “Anytime a student dies it is tremendously painful, but particularly when it happens during the holiday season. Our hearts are heavy and we are praying for the families of Joshua and Michael. We are mourning the losses, but also finding comfort in knowing that these two precious students gave us so many gifts and joyous memories during their short time with us.”
Hays CISD Crisis counselors will be on campus at Lehman High School when students return on Thursday, January 5, 2017. The full impact of the loss will affect most students when they return to campus without the presence of two of their peers. The district has also provided parents with information online to help them speak with their children about the loss of a friend.
For students who were much closer to Joshua and Michael, the immediate crisis of the loss may not be able to wait until school resumes. We are recommending families reach out to their medical providers should emergency counseling be necessary. Additionally, students and families may call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). Though this number is marketed as a suicide prevention lifeline, the 24—hour counselors also provide assistance to teens and families suffering other emotional distresses. It is the district’s partner hotline used on the Hays Hopeline service.
A Kyle teen was killed Monday after he was struck while walking along FM 2001 in the Niederwald city limits by a pickup truck.
Officials are now asking for the public’s help in locating the driver of the truck who fled the scene of the accident.
Michael Mince, 15, of Kyle, was identified as the victim in the hit and run, according to a Department of Public Safety (DPS) spokesperson.
Authorities are looking for a Dodge pickup truck they say may have front end damage that wasn’t there before Monday. The model and color of the vehicle, along with the description of the driver, is unknown at this time.
Monday’s incident occurred at 7:52 p.m.along FM 2001 in the Niederwald city limits.
Mince, who had left the Valero gas station located at the intersection of FM 2001 and State Highway 21, was walking west along FM 2001 when he was struck from behind by an unknown pickup truck, according to the spokesperson. Mince was pronounced dead at the scene.
DPS is investigating the incident and asks anyone with information to contact DPS Crime Stoppers at 800.252.8477or the Hays County Sheriff’s Office at 512.393.7800.