DIKE — The Dike community is mourning the loss of a local boy who perished in an auto accident while on a religious mission in Texas.
Hudson Hayes, 11, died in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 35 south of the Dallas-Fort Worth area while traveling to Laredo.
“He was just starting to grow up, kind of losing that little kiddish part,” uncle Joel Hayes said Monday.
“He was a really nice kid, he was very polite. He enjoyed riding dirt bikes and being outside,” Joel Hayes said.
Joel Hayes and his brother — Hudson’s father Dustin Hayes — operate a drainage tile company, and young Hudson — who went to Dike Elementary and would have turned 12 in February — was reaching the age where he was helping with the business.
Family members had taken part in Seed Sowers projects before, but the trip to Texas would have been the farthest for them, Joel Hayes said.
“Kids from all over the country, the teenagers and younger hand out Bible texts door to door. Then there would be a gospel campaign done at the same time while they are down there. That’s what they were headed for,” Joel Hayes said.
Dustin Hayes, Hudson, Hudson’s sister, 13-year-old Emma, and Dustin’s friend, Spencer Gull of Garnavillo, had traveled through the night and were near mile marker 389 outside of Italy, Texas, when the crash happened around 6:40 a.m. Saturday.
The Iowa minivan was disabled in the roadway from a previous collision when it was struck from behind by a Dodge pickup truck, according to Texas media accounts.
Italy police said multiple vehicles were involved and at least five others were injured.
Joel Hayes said his brother had a concussion and hurt his back, and Emma suffered a broken collar bone and a leg injury. Gull, who was driving the van, also was injured and has since been released from the hospital, he said.
Media accounts said the pickup driver, 33-year-old Emmanuel Compos-Carrera from Dallas, was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.