Lake Highlands High’s 2013 Salutatorian, Jack Stewart, was killed in a car accident yesterday near Waco. The rising Baylor sophomore was 19.
Stewart was one of three Baylor music students and one recent graduate traveling to Louisiana to perform at the International Clarinet Association meeting at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Their car hit a tree east of Marlin in Central Texas. Stewart and Laura Onwudinanti of Grand Prairie, both passengers, were dead at the scene. The pickup driver, Jacob Hale of Fort Worth, was taken to Scott & White Healthcare in Temple and is listed in fair condition. Passenger Megan Ritzi of Fort Worth is listed in very critical condition.
The Dodge pickup drifted off the highway about 9 a.m., according to the DPS. The driver was unable to correct and lost control, flipping the truck onto its side and into the tree. Neither alcohol nor speed was suspected. All were wearing seat belts.
“The hearts of the Baylor University family and our School of Music are broken today as we mourn the passing of these remarkably talented students who have been taken too soon from us,” said Baylor Chancellor Ken Starr. “We pray that God’s grace and comfort will surround the families and friends of Jack Stewart and Laura Onwudinanti at this terribly sad hour.”
Current Wildcat band members are mourning the loss of a friend and admired musician. They have begun tying red, white and black ribbons around the fence leading to their practice facilities at LHHS in Jack’s memory, and they invite the community to join them. Ribbons have been provided.