Friends of Hays County teen killed in hit-and-run release balloons in his honor

Family and friends of a Hays County teen who was killed by a hit-and-run driver honored him Friday.

15-year-old Michael Mince was walking along FM 2001 when a truck hit him from behind. Police are still looking for that driver.

“He was like my brother and my best friend,” said Madison West, one of Michael’s closest friends. 

Just days after a pickup truck struck and killed Mince, his friends and family paid tribute to his life at Gregg-Clarke Park in Kyle.

“We really just got to be here for each other now because it's like our family and Michael he was kind of the backbone, and losing him, now we just got to pick ourselves back up and keep ourselves strong,” West said. 

Mince was with two friends at the intersection of FM 2001 and SH 21 near Kyle when he was killed by a driver.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said the driver was in a Dodge Ram 3500 pickup truck that is possibly red. They are still trying to locate the person responsible.

Meanwhile, Michael’s friends and family are still trying to understand why the teen was taken from them so soon.

“Why? That's the only thing I would say is why?” asked Christian Reinhart, a friend of Michael’s. 

“I can't keep living with this pain and not knowing. I just want to know and I want to know why,” said West

Friday, it was obvious Mince, a sophomore at Lehman High School, touched so many people during his short life.

“Michael, he was very outgoing, very generous, he would always put other people before himself and go out of his way and he was always there for everybody,” West said. 

“When I was feeling down he would lift me up and he would help me out,” said Reinhart.  

With tears in their eyes, his friends and family members released balloons personalized with handwritten notes into the air, filling up the grey sky  with Michael’s favorite color, if only for a moment.

“I know he's here. I know he's still here with us,” said West. 

Even with so much support from each other, those who love Michael will have a difficult road moving forward with the person responsible for his death still on the loose.

“I want justice for Michael, he deserves it,” West said.

DPS said the truck that hit Michael is possibly a red work truck with a welder in the bed. It could have some minor damage to the passenger side and may be missing a side mirror.

Anyone with information that could identify the vehicle or the driver is asked to call Capital Areas Crime Stoppers.

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