Kyle teenager killed in hit-and-run crash

Michael Mince (Hays CISD yearbook photo)
Michael Mince (Hays CISD yearbook photo)

HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A teenager from Kyle died after being hit by a pick-up truck in Niederwald Monday evening.

The Texas Department of Public Safety says 15-year-old Michael Mince had just left the gas station at the corner of Farm to Market 2001 and State Highway 21 when he was hit by the truck as he was walking westbound on FM 2001. Police say the truck that hit the teenager was a Dodge Pickup but the driver did not stay at the scene.

Authorities are now searching for the person who hit the teenager.  A neighbor who lives in the area said he heard what he described as the crash, “I heard people screaming so I grab my cellphone, grab the biggest flashlight I could find, started calling 911.”

Hays County Sheriff’s Office was on scene helping direct traffic. The accident was Monday evening, though we don’t know the exact time. Lanmon got some locator video that she can put on Latakoo. I’m attaching some scene pictures she sent as well. More information from Robbie Barrera, DPS: Pedestrian walking West on FM 2001 in the roadway after leaving the Valero gas station on FM 2001 & SH 21. A unknown Dodge Pickup was also traveling West on FM 2001 and struck the pedestrian from behind. Unit #1 slowed, then fled the scene. The pedestrian died at the scene. Driver: unknown Pedestrian: Michael Mince 15 from Kyle
Michael Mince, 15, was killed while walking on this stretch of FM 2001 near Niederwald on Dec. 26, 2016. (KXAN Photo/Lauren Lanmon)

The neighbor didn’t want to be named but said he found two friends frantically looking for Mince. “He just kept screaming at the top of his lung ‘how could this happen! God how could this happen.’ It was bad.”

Other people who live in the nearby neighborhood say they’ve long complained about FM 2001. They say there is barely a shoulder, no street lights and the 60 mph speed limit is too high. A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Transportation says because FM 2001 is a rural road, there are limited paved shoulders and street lights are generally limited to intersections.

The spokesperson said in an e-mail, “Safety is our top priority, and we investigate every crash to look at the ultimate and contributing causes, and see what changes or improvements could be made to prevent re-occurrences.” TxDOT is working with Hays County on proposed improvements to the road. 

Even with all the safety concerns, neighbors who watched the aftermath of what happened said it’s hard not to blame the driver.

“Just leaving the scene as if he hit an animal instead of a young man that’s bad,” said the neighbor.

Mince was a sophomore at Lehman High School. There will be a balloon release for him on Friday at 4 p.m. at Gregg-Clarke Park in Kyle.

DPS investigators are not releasing the color of the Dodge pick-up, but tell KXAN that there’s damage to the front.  If you have any information call police or the sheriff’s department in your county.

A spokesperson for Hays Consolidated Independent School District says Mince’s death is the second death involving a Lehman High student this week. On Christmas Eve, the district learned that freshman Joshua Gregoria Marquez died in what appeared to be an accidental death.

Crisis counselors will be available to talk with students when they return from winter break on Jan. 5, 2017.