Friends, Teachers Remember Student Killed in Car Accident

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - School's officially out for the summer but a group of Odessa students are mourning the loss of one of their classmates.

An eighth grader at Bonham Jr. High was killed on Thursday afternoon in a car accident on the last day of school.

Now teachers and friends are coping with the death of one of their own.

"He had a charisma," former teacher, Rick Green, said. "Everybody looked up to him, all the students looked up to him."

What started as excitement from the last day of school, quickly turned into shock and sadness for friends of 14-year-old Nikolas Moralez.

"I miss him. I think everybody does and I think we're gonna be lost for a really long time," friend and classmate Esperanza Balerio, said.

Nikolas died Thursday afternoon at Medical Center Hospital from his injuries after a head on car crash.

87-year-old Wanda Bryant, a passenger in the other car, died at the scene.

The crash happened just hours after Nikolas' last day of eighth grade.

Balerio said Nik was someone everyone loved to be around.

"He was very humorous, very nice, never mean, always there, just a great guy," she said. "I didn't get to talk to him yesterday, the only thing I did was wave bye to him."

It's something Esperanza wishes she could change.

"If I could have one more day with him and everybody else, we would cherish it very much than how he left, which was very tragic," Esperanza said. "He didn't deserve it."

Classmates and their parents gathered at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Odessa. This is one of the first places kids wanted to come to after hearing of the news because it's their home away from home and a place Nik loved.

"We stood around in the parking lot and just hugged each other," Green said. "You ask anybody that's ever gone to St. Mary's or taught there, it's a big family."

Green was Nik's sixth grade teacher at the school. He remembers his former student for his artistic skills and love for sports, especially golf.

"I'd like to think of Nik tee-ing it off with Jesus right now," Green said.

Now the St. Mary's family is praying so Nik's family can heal.

"I'm just thinking about them constantly ever since I heard the news and just hold onto your face and know what I just said, that Nik's happy," Green said.