HENDERSON, TX (KLTV) - Mahlon Acres, 16, was called a gifted athlete and musician, but a weekend accident took the life of the East Texas teenager. Authorities in Henderson say the 16-year-old died Sunday night.
Friends say he was riding in the back of a pick up truck in the 2300 block of Clayton Lane early Saturday morning. Mahlon, accidentally, fell out of the truck, suffering severe brain injuries.
Friends say Acres's legacy will live on.
"He was always like a sponge - ready to learn," said Sandra Siler, Acres's piano teacher and friend.
Teachers say Acres poured his heart and soul into everything he did, and it showed. Baseball coach Steve Lacy says Acres made the varsity baseball team when he was just a freshman.
"Shoot, he just walked right in there and took over," said Lacy.
"He batted in district play over 400 and that's incredible," said Siler. "As a youngster he broke records in swim and football team. Last year, he was one of our starting quarterbacks."
Like his mother, he was also a concert pianist. His piano teacher, Sandra Siler, began teaching him at age four, recognizing his dedication early on.
"By 13, he had two debuts with the symphony orchestra," said Siler. "Just very, very talented and incredibly intelligent."
"He's the kind of kid that could have been president," said Lacy. "He really could have been."
But, above all this, loved ones say he was a devout Christian who mentored to others.
Coach Lacy says his legacy will live on at Henderson ISD, from scholarships under his name to a baseball tournament.
"We're also talking about naming the baseball field after him," said Lacy. "That's what kind of kid he was."
Siler's son was with Acres the night of the accident. She says the other kids who were there are dealing with guilt and will always be affected.
"Of course, we all have questions," said Siler. We have a God who is in control and he will get us through this."
"I told his mother and his daddy last night that I wished it were me instead of him," said Lacy.
Acres was also an organ donor.
"He's going to be saving six or seven lives so he is still helping people even in death," said Lacy.
To help the family with medical expenses, a memorial fund has been set up at all Texas Bank locations. It is under the name Mahlon Acres.