Centeninal senior dies in three-car accident Aug. 21
Centennial High School senior Dawson Barnes, 17, who was known for always having a smile on his face, died the afternoon of Aug. 21 following a three-car accident.
The accident occurred in the 100 block of Hidden Creek Parkway when Barnes lost control of his vehicle for unknown reasons. The vehicle hit two vehicles and smashed into a light pole and caught fire with Barnes trapped inside.
According to Burleson Marketing and Communications Director DeAnna Phillips, the first 911 call regarding the accident was received at 3:25 p.m.
Dawson’s mother, Heather Barnes, wanted to thank the Burleson community for the compassion they have shown to her family.
“To the community of Burleson, thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Heather Barnes said. “We are so incredibly honored to see the outpouring of love and support for our family. Dawson loved nothing more than spending time with family and friends.”
Barnes said her family was grateful for the love, support, and compassion shown by Burleson’s Police and Fire Department’s. Dawson’s aunt works for the Burleson Police Department.
“Our hearts go out to you as well for the difficulty in working a call that involves a family member of our law enforcement family,” Barnes said. “Their dedication and commitment to professionalism shown brighter than ever. The entire family thanks you and is praying for each and every one of you.”
An excerpt of an email obtained by the Burleson Star that was sent to Centennial students, parents and staff by Principal Ikie Holder read “Our Centennial High School Family has experienced a great loss. I am saddened to share with you that Dawson Barnes, one of our 12th grade students, died today in an automobile accident.”
According to the email, Burleson ISD counselors were on campus to assist students and faculty.
“In his much too short life, he made a tremendous impact on so many,” Burleson ISD Superintendent Dr. Bret Jimerson Tweeted. “Rest In Peace, Dawson. We will miss you.”
Barnes was a standout baseball player at Centennial. He received first-team honors at designated hitter on the District 5-5A All-District team. Earlier this month, Barnes earned second-team honors on the Texas Sports Writers Association Class 5A All-State team.
“Dawson’s smile was so contagious,” Centennial baseball coach Brian Tickell said. “Everyone looked up to him and fed off of him. “He had an amazing work ethic. No one could outwork Dawson. He was just an incredible young man.”
Tickell said that the first time he saw Barnes play he immediately thought of Texas Rangers outfielder Hunter Pence because of Barnes swing and the way he moved his body.
“Dawson was a consistent pull hitter and always got base knocks between the shortstop and third baseman,” Tickell said. “It was so weird because last night Hunter Pence had a walk-off hit through that same hole. That was unbelievable.”
The night of the accident students from Centennial High School along with Jimerson gathered near the site of the accident where a makeshift memorial has been started for Barnes.
Centennial junior Robin Stephens, a close friend of Barnes family, led those gathered in prayer.
A candlelight service was held Thursday at Centennial’s baseball field. On that same day, students at Centennial and Burleson High School’s wore blue in memory of Barnes and
Centennial’s Class of 2020 held a balloon release in memory of Barnes.
The service drew a crowd that covered the infield and filled the stands at the stadium.
Centennial’s choir performed and Centennial students Payton Gooden and Jayden Like led those gathered in song.
Pathway Church senior minister Rick Owen spoke to those gathered and then had special words for Centennial’s baseball players. Owen spoke on how important numbers are in baseball whether it be a batting average, earned run average or a team’s winning percentage.
Owen told the players he had a number for them.
“Don’t forget this number,” Owen said. “There is power in this number”
The number was “413” referring to Philippians 4:13 - “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
“When you wake up tomorrow and don’t want to go to school, just say 413,” Owen said. “Athletes, when baseball season comes and you walk by Dawson’s locker and it hurts, just say 413. This is painful and it’s dark. This is a life lesson you will never forget. Bad things happen to good people.”
Over the weekend, Centennial’s senior class gathered at the accident site to release balloons in memory of Barnes.
Centennial’s cross country runners remembered Barnes during their race in Waxahachie Saturday by wearing the No. 16, Barnes’ jersey number, on their faces.
Barnes’ funeral took place Monday evening at Pathway Church.
A memorial fund for Barnes has been set up on GoFundMe at https://www.gofundme.com/f/dawson-barnes-funeral-fund