Community grieves death of boy killed crossing highway - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Community grieves death of boy killed crossing highway

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The Booker T. Washington fourth grader hit and killed while crossing Highway 69 in Port Arthur on Saturday had just left the Casa Ole restaurant in Central Mall before the accident happened.

Police said Tyvone Joseph Washington, 10,  was with six other boys who ranged in ages 10 to 16 years old. Washington was the last to attempt to cross the busy highway when he was struck and killed by a Volvo SUV.

 Booker T. Washington principal, Calvin Rice, said the boy's death has been tough for students and teachers to deal with.

"He was a popular student amongst his classmates," Rice said. "He was a basketball player, very jovial, funny the kids really enjoyed being around him."

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services spokesperson Shari Pulliam said they have removed Washington's 20 month old sister from the family's home while the investigation continues. Pulliam also said there was a prior case against the family in 2009 for physical neglect, but right now they're focusing on the boys' supervision.

Grievance counselors were at the school today to offer support for those left to deal with the tragedy. Rice said two of the boys who witnessed Washington's death were also Booker T. Washington Elementary fourth graders.

"We've dealt individually with those students because they have been taking it exceptionally hard, more so than the other students," he said.

Rice said from a terrible tragedy, has come a teaching moment for other young students.

"You have to always be cautious with your surroundings and even though you feel like you can take a chance often times its not a good idea to take that chance," he said.

Port Arthur Police Chief Mark Blanton tells 12 News he plans to contact the Texas Department of Transportation about taking more safety measures to prevent people from crossing the busy highway by foot.

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