A Tragic Anniversary for Musical Drama Texas Staff and Cast
It seems like just yesterday but also years away. The news came out that five Texas cast members were killed in a crash. I remember when the news hit.
I grew up in Canyon so many of my friends either worked for Texas in the hospitality portion or many were dancers or cast. I, like many, was waiting to hear the names. I was highly worried about who was dead.
It didn't matter because whether I knew them or not there were five families that were going to be affected forever due to this.
The date was August 12, 2013, it's hard to imagine that it was just nine years ago when after an end-of-year party six cast members were leaving and turning on to 287 near Dumas. The driver, Clint Diaz, failed to stop at the stop sign. The car pulled in front of an 18-wheeler. That is what happened.
There was one survivor, Timothy Johnson, who was sitting behind the driver Diaz. He spent a lot of time in the hospital following this tragic accident. Yes, alcohol played a role in the accident.
Growing up in the Canyon community yes we knew about the cast parties. We knew about the alcohol. These were kids. They were going to find a way to drink if they wanted to. This ended many lives. It was a tragedy that is still felt nine years later. It doesn't hurt less because alcohol was involved. Kids do stupid things.
I saw my friend, and former Executive Director of Texas, Kris Miller post the reminder. All he left on his Facebook post was a broken heart. I knew right away what that heart was for. Even after all these years that is something that doesn't leave you.
I talked with Kris a bit and he told me:
It was the hardest thing I had and have still ever gone through. I literally laid in the street in front of the office holding one of the dancers as he weeped uncontrollably. It was just before sunrise and almost everyone had come to the TEXAS office. I didn’t leave the office for over 38 hours. I called each of the parents after I knew they had been notified by law enforcement. I cried a lot.
This is something that we need to remember on this day. Where would those lost in the accident be now if not for this? What might have been?
On this day let's remember:
- Andrew Duncan of Wichita Falls, 20
- Clinton Diaz of Amarillo, 20
- Amanda Starz of Lutherfield Timonium, Md, 20
- Julian Arredondo of Haltom City, 24
- Eric Harrison of Fort Worth, 21