Family, friends gather to remember teen hit and killed by car

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Students raise money in support of classmate killed by car, Deborah Wrigley reports. (KTRK)

Eight days after he was struck and killed by a speeding car as he crossed a street to go to school, 17-year-old Jose Torres was laid to rest.

More than a hundred people, including friends and family, filled the pews of Bethel Baptist Church in north Houston. The pastor set up fundraising accounts to pay the expenses and help his grieving parents.

His friends on a community soccer team came dressed in black shirts, with tears in their eyes.

"He was so good, he was a team of one," one of the players said. "He wanted to go pro one day, and he could have."

A foundation connected to a neighborhood community center also donated money to bring Jose's grandmother from Mexico for the service.

There were two students, one from MacArthur High School, the school Torres would have graduated next year. The other student was from rival Nimitz High School.

RELATED: Family names student killed outside MacArthur High School

Naomi Elizabeth, 16, had never met Torres, but she is acquainted with losing someone. Last year, her boyfriend, also named Jose died.
"I knew what it's like to look at a casket at someone you love, so I knew I had to help," Elizabeth said. She says MacArthur students also helped her get through her grief.

With the permission of her principal, she circulated a donation bucket in the hallway and in classes.

"Everyone put in something, she said. "They didn't hesitate to drop a dollar or anything. I saw a lot of good in people and it made me happy."

Noah Mendoza was a classmate of Jose. He and other friends say they raised about $2,000 for the Torres family.

"He was nice. He wasn't big into social media. And I think if he's seeing all this today, he'd realize how many people miss him," he said.

Another part of his legacy, friends say, should be a crosswalk between the apartments where the Torres family lives and the high school directly across the street. An Aldine ISD spokesperson said the district will be meeting with the Precinct 2 commissioners office next week about safety enhancements around the school.

A community meeting is being planned tentatively for November 17 at MacArthur.

Related Topics:
child deathpedestrian struckchild injuredHouston
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