Hundreds of purple, blue and black balloons dotted the sky over the football field at Manvel High School on Friday, January 9, a tribute to three students who passed away on Wednesday, January 7 after a fatal car accident located on County Road 89 and County Road 100.
Under grey and cloudy skies, students sang songs, read poems and spoke praises about 18-year old Joshua “Josh” Rodriguez, 17-year old Zori Petrova and 17-year old Sara Silvas. The families of the victims were also in attendance.
Josh was a student athlete who played football and soccer for Manvel High School. He looked forward to attending the University of Houston where he would pursue a degree in engineering.
Zori was senior class president, and on the tennis, swim and academic decathlon teams. She had recently been accepted to attend Texas A&M University.
Sara, the daughter of the school’s dual credit advisor, Monica Silvas, was on the varsity softball team and had dreams of attending the University of Texas at San Antonio.
All three students were close friends and popular with promising futures ahead of them.
After the ceremony, friends and family gathered at the crash site where three crosses have been placed in the ground. They placed bouquets of flowers, teddy bears, candy, a Dallas Cowboys t-shirt, swim cap and athletic medals at the site.
A friend of all three teens tearfully held a football to honor Josh’s love of football. “I lost three friends,” he said, as he fell to his knees.
Principal Liptack expressed her sympathy in a letter to Manvel High School parents. Liptack said the community was deeply saddened by the deaths.
“The Manvel High School community is a family that shows incredible support for one another during trying times,” she said. “The three families need to know that we care, but they also need privacy today and throughout the week. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and please be there for each other,” Liptack wrote. “I know that we will get through this difficult time together.”
This is the second tragedy to hit Manvel High School. In August, beloved Principal Liptack’s husband and 10 year old son were killed in a plane crash.
Josh, Sara, and Zori will be recognized at a special Memorial Celebration of Life on Tuesday, Jan. 20 at 6:00 p.m. in the Manvel High School Auditorium.
Funeral services for Josh Rodriguez were held Wednesday, Jan. 14 at 10 a.m. at Thompson’s Harveson & Cole Funeral Home, 702 8th Avenue in Fort Worth. Interment was at Laurel Land Memorial Park, 7100 Crowley Road, Fort Worth, TX.
Visitation for Sara Silvas will be held at Lakewood Funeral Home, 98 N. Dixie Dr., Lake Jackson, TX, on Thursday, Jan. 15 from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. The funeral services will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 16 at St. Jerome’s Catholic Church, 201 N. Lazy Ln., Clute, TX. Following the services, interment will take place at Restwood Funeral Home, 1038 W. Plantation Dr., Clute, TX.
The Petrova family will be honoring Zori Petrova privately as a family.