Death of North Texas teen hit by DART train ‘an earth shaking loss,’ family says

Family photo/GoFundMe

A North Texas family is mourning a high school student who died when he was hit by a DART train last week, nine days before graduation and his 18th birthday.

The family of Francisco Chavez, known as Pancho, reported him missing on Thursday and didn’t learn until the next day that he had been killed on Wednesday night, according to a GoFundMe page. He didn’t return home after going to the gym.

The family is “beyond devastated” by the tragic accident, Chavez’s aunt wrote on the GoFundMe account. “This has been an earth shaking loss.”

Pancho, 17, was supposed to graduate from Garland High School on May 26, which also would have been his birthday.

His aunt described him as a great kid who was looking at a bright future and enrolling in college.

“He loved spending time with his family, going to the gym, and playing basketball,” Jessica Garcia wrote.

DART police told KDFW-TV the accident happened on Shiloh Road near the Forest/Jupiter DART station in Garland. Chavez was walking across the tracks when the train hit him about 7 p.m. Wednesday.

“The investigation is still ongoing,” Gordon Shattles with DART told FOX 4. “Our safety departments, our rail operations team and DART police are working very closely to determine if there were any concerns with this intersection. I can tell you from our initial investigation, everything was operating as intended.”