Teenage hit and run victim remembered - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Teenage hit and run victim remembered

Photo courtesy Mineola Monitor Photo courtesy Mineola Monitor

MINEOLA, TX (KLTV) - Jacob Burrell, a 15 year-old Mineola High School sophomore, was walking on the side of Highway 69 near Mineola last night when a truck hit him and sped away.

Jacob lived less than a mile from where he was hit, and was believed to be walking home.

Principal Ricky Stephens describes Jacob Burrell as a bright student and talented athlete. 

"He was a great kid. Jacob was a kid that all the kids liked, even the kids that really didn't know him; they knew of his character. They knew the kind of kid he was and we've put posters up around the school for students to sign, to write him a note or his parents a note," says Stephens.

He hopes the messages will help ease the pain of this scene.  A witness, who wants to remain anonymous, says he was driving behind the truck that hit Jacob.   He says Jacob was thrown at least 20 feet in the air.

"There's no way they didn't know that they hit him.  Like I say, when they took off around me, I could hear the engine roar.  They had their pedal to the floor," he says.

He says he turned around and went searching for Jacob. 

"When I seen him, I whipped another u-turn and put my headlights on him.  That's another image that will be with me forever, was pulling my headlights up on a motionless body laying there.  I really hope they catch the person that did this.  I don't know what the reason was, but I really hope that we found out exactly what happened.  Mainly so the family can have some closure on it.  I know that they lost a child.  You can never really have satisfaction, but you can always get some kind of closure."

He says he waited at Jacob's side until he was flown to a Tyler hospital.  Mineola firefighters under Chief David Madsen were the first responders.

We're told Jacob is an organ donor. His mother describes it as a miracle in a tragedy. 

His principal says Jacob was a blessing to this community.  "He's going to be very much missed and to his parents, we're there for them and we're holding them up in prayer.

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