Kyle resident Madison West remembered Michael Mince as a free spirit with a “great sense of humor.”
Mince, who also loved the color red, often put others’ happiness before his own, West said.
With a parade of red balloons in hand, West organized a ceremonial release Dec. 29 for family and friends to honor Mince, who was killed in a hit and run incident in Niederwald that remains unsolved.
Robbie Barrera, Texas Department of Public safety spokesperson, said there are no new leads in the incident that killed Mince, which occurred Dec. 26 along FM 2001.
According to a press release, DPS officials responded to an auto-pedestrian fatality accident along FM 2001.
A preliminary investigation determined the pedestrian, later identified as Mince, was struck by a Dodge Ram 3500 dually pickup truck which left the scene of the accident.
It was determined Mince was walking west on FM 2001 in the roadway after leaving the Valero gas station located at the intersection of FM 2001 and State Highway 21 in Niederwald.
The pickup truck, which was also traveling west, struck and killed Mince from behind.
According to DPS officials, the vehicle could have minor damage to the right side and could potentially be missing the right side mirror.
The truck is possible a red work truck with a welder in the bed, according to the release.
Barrera said those who own local salvage yards or body repair shops are asked to pay attention to any vehicles that match the description that may have similar damage.
As authorities continue to search for the missing truck, Hays CISD officials began helping students cope with the tragedy.
On Thursday, district officials will have Hays CISD crisis counselors at Lehman High to help students following the deaths of Mince and freshman Joshua Martinez, who also passed away over the holiday.
According a letter from the district, the full impact of the loss will affect most students when they return to campus “without the presence of two of their peers.”
“It is difficult for all of us to face the death of a young person, and perhaps even more difficult for their teenage peers,” Tim Savoy, Hays CISD public information officer, said in an emailed statement. “Please remember that students will react in different ways to the loss of one of our school community members, some more than others.”
District officials also encourage parents to talk with students, as it’s important for them to express their feelings, according to the release.
“Traumatic events like the loss of a friend or peer can trigger emotional responses that may require counseling support.”
Anyone with information leading to the vehicle or the driver involved in the accident is asked to contact Capital Area Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS (8477). Those with information can also contact the Buda Police Department and Kyle Police Department, along with the Hays County Sheriff’s Office.