High Schooler Struck and Killed by DART Train

DART train | Image by Philip Lange

A 17-year-old senior at Garland High School was struck and killed by a DART train last Wednesday night, just days before his graduation.

Francisco Chavez was reported missing by his family after he didn’t return to his home after leaving to go work out at a local gym. On Thursday, the family filed a missing persons report after not hearing from him. On Friday morning, they found out Chavez had been hit by a DART train close to the Forest/Jupiter DART station in Garland.

DART officials say that Chavez was struck by the train Wednesday evening around 7 p.m. Warning lights, alarms, and gates go down for both vehicles and pedestrians anytime a train is passing through an area.

Chavez was planning on attending barber school after his high school graduation and 18th birthday this week. The family had graduation photos made and was planning graduation celebrations, which have now been canceled in the wake of the tragedy. Instead, funeral preparations have begun to lay Chavez to rest next week.

The family set up a GoFundMe page to help fund the unexpected costs of the funeral, describing the loss of Chavez (Pancho) as “earth shaking.”

“Pancho was set to graduate from Garland High School (on May 26th) and celebrate his 18th birthday as well,” the GoFundMe description read. “Pancho was a great kid! He was looking at a bright future, looking into enrolling in college. He loved spending time with his family, going to the gym, and playing basketball! As this is unexpected, we are reaching out to family and friends that may want to donate to help put Pancho to rest.”

At the time of publication, locals had exceeded the $10,000 GoFundMe fundraising goal to help the family lay Chavez to rest on May 29th.

The incident is being investigated further, and the investigation has classified Chavez’s death as an “accidental death.”

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