TROPHY CLUB — Students, parents, co-workers and hundreds of friends are mourning the death of a Northwest ISD teacher. Sam Torres was killed in a motorcycle accident Tuesday morning on his way to school.
Friends said Torres could make anyone smile, and he made instant connections with eight-year-olds or 80-year-olds.
They called it his "gift."
More than 50 of those friends crowded into the Torres house in Bedford to comfort his wife and family just hours after he died.
"He just really had a way of communicating authority in a loving way, but then still get a message across so people's lives would be changed," said Richard Augustus, a friend through Bible study and a trip to Israel.
Just 27-years-old, Torres taught 4th and 5th graders at Beck Elementary in Trophy Club. His personality made him popular with hundreds of students.
Northwest ISD called parents to tell them what happened, but did not want to break the hearts of the students during school. The district wanted parents to have individual conversations with the students.
Counselors will be available when they return to class on Wednesday.
Teachers, though, were already sharing their memories.
"He has an interesting life story where he had come through a lot of struggles and chose to give his life to education so he could make a difference," said NWISD spokeswoman Lesley Weaver. "We will definitely remember him and honor him and miss him."
Torres was on his way to school when he died just after 6 am.
Bedford police said his motorcycle was heading east on Highway 183 when it hit an 18-wheeler near the off ramp to Highway 121 in the middle of a construction zone. Police haven't ruled on a cause.
Memorials and vigils are on hold while the Torres family prays for healing.
"You want to call it a miracle? Yeah; we're believing for a miracle right now for Sam Torres," said Augustus.
Friends believe a life built on hope and faith is not over yet.
Sam Torres is survived by his wife of 10 months, Shelly.