The Wichita Falls community is mourning the loss of a 16-year-old, Rider High School student. Casey Garza was taken off of life support Monday afternoon. Garza sustained critical injuries resulting from an incident occurring when he and another boy were riding on the back of an automobile. Casey Garza and Tristan Clark, also 16 years old, were allegedly riding on the back of a vehicle, when the luggage rack they were holding onto gave way. Garza suffered critical injuries and was immediately transported to the hospital for treatment. Clark was also admitted to the hospital for injuries, but he has since been released.
The tragic incident occurred on Sunday evening on the 4600 block of Sabota Avenue near Allendale Road. KFDX News Channel Three reports that the two teens had their feet on the bumper of the automobile while they were holding onto the luggage rack. The luggage rack broke, and both teenagers fell as the driver of the van turned west onto Sabota Avenue. The Times Record News reports that the Wichita Falls Police Department’s crash unit and juvenile section are still investigating this terrible incident. Unconfirmed initial reports indicate that the automobile in question was a minivan. Sergeant John Spragins, the public information officer with the Wichita Falls Police Department confirmed that the driver of the vehicle was 16-year-old Eric Taylor.
Casey Garza was a varsity football player at Rider High School in Wichita Falls. The school held a vigil Monday night in his remembrance. His classmates spoke about his ambition to join the United States Marine Corps after high school. Jim Garfield, the varsity football coach at Rider High School, said that the team will likely put decals on their helmets this fall honoring Garza. The decals will have Garza’s initials and jersey number on them.
Many questions still remain unanswered about this tragic event. Why were the two boys riding on the back of the automobile? Was the driver negligent for driving off with two passengers holding onto the luggage rack? As investigators put together the pieces of this terrible event, we will likely know more about what happened. The family of Casey Garza may have a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. An experienced wrongful death lawyer can stay abreast of official investigations. The team at the Altman Legal Group sends their deepest condolences to the family members, friends and classmates of Casey Garza.