BEDFORD — Fifteen-year-old Amari Darby is no longer present at Central Junior High School in Bedford, but his presence is strongly felt.
Amari’s mother, Veronica Owens, said her faith in God is helping her make peace with the loss of her son. “I think I just feel for his friends more than I do for myself because they are kids,” she said.
On Wednesday morning, the eighth grader’s classmates wrote dozens of notes for the popular student who played both football and basketball. They taped them to his locker and in a hallway.
The notes were written on pieces of paper in all different sizes, colors, and even in different languages. They all had the same message—that Amari will be sorely missed.
“He was just a kid with a lot of spirit,” said Elvis Gallegos. “And probably every time you saw him, he had a smile on his face.”
Amari was hit by a car late Tuesday evening as he tried to cross the street in the 3000 block of West Euless Boulevard. It was around 6:10 p.m.
Police said he ran out into the street and the driver couldn't avoid hitting him. As a result, no charges are pending against the driver.
Amari had just left a basketball game at school and was planning to meet his mother at a restaurant across the street. Instead, she saw him that night in the hospital as doctors tried to save his life.
“Those doctors and those nurses,” Owens said. “Man, they worked on my baby.”
But Amari didn't make it. He died at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth.
“To hear his little body and it was so hollow," his mother said. "I knew he wasn't in there, so I just told them to stop.”
Owens said she'll never stop thinking about her son, who first donned a football jersey at the age of five, and who loved the New Orleans Saints. His friends will be a constant reminder and a source of comfort.
“I see a little of Amari in all of his friends,” she said.
Counselors were brought to the school for students who needed them. The basketball team will play its first game without Amari Thursday night.
Gallegos said the team plans to carry Amari’s jersey with them to every game this season to honor his memory.
Funeral arrangements are pending.