Tree dedicated in memory of 13-year-old hit-and-run victim - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Tree dedicated in memory of 13-year-old hit-and-run victim

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)
BELTON, TX (KXXV) -

The Snyder family was surrounded by the love and support of those who knew their son Thursday afternoon.

As a group, they gathered across the street from South Belton Middle School to remember and honor the life of Richard Snyder.

"We gather here today to dedicate this memorial tree to a son, a brother, a teammate, student and a friend," Nat Giambalvo, a 7th grade math teacher at South Belton Middle School, said.

"I hope he's remembered like sunshine is remembered," Hollie Snyder, Richard's mother, said. 

13-year-old Richard Snyder was a seventh grader at South Belton Middle School when he was hit by a car and killed last Nov. Friends and family remember him as a budding football player who loved the game.

"I wish I had got to see him play all the way through," Richard's mother said. 

"This was a kid you wish you could carbon-copy and fill your classroom with," Giambalvo added. 

Richard's classmates attended the dedication.

"To Richard's family, you have a huge extended family here, everybody's here for your love and for your support," Giambalvo said. 

"They miss him dearly these kids here. They miss him a lot, and they do still do talk about him," Giambalvo added. "They're not going to forget him."

"When something crappy happens like this, everybody reaches out and holds each other's hand and makes a bridge and keeps each other safe, and that's what a community is," Richard's mother added.

Community members who didn't even know Richard also showed up to the dedication. Despite their loss and overcome with emotion, Richard's parents gave thanks to all present...

"I'm eternally grateful that they were all in his life, and that he was all in their lives. Thank everyone of y'all for coming out and remembering my son. Thank you," Richard's parents, Richard and Hollie Snyder, said together. 

Though he tried to express his appreciation to those in attendance, Mr. Snyder said he wishes he could have said more to truly thank everyone who played a part in honoring his son's memory.

Mr. Snyder added he'll continue going to South Belton Middle School's football games next year, but will miss seeing his son on the field.

The Snyder family's final wish is that TxDOT officials work with Belton city leaders to get sidewalks built along the access roads of I-35, so another family won't ever have to have the same experience the same type of loss.

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