The faculty, staff and over a thousand students at Burnet High joined together to mourn a young brother and sister who were killed in a Bertram car crash on Thursday.
The teens, 16-year-old Sierra Hardin and 14-year-old Caleb Hardin, were identified late Thursday. Both were residents of Bertram and attended Burnet High School, district officials said.
Texas Department of Public Safety officials believe that Sierra Hardin failed to control the speed of the 2002 Buick sedan she was driving with her brother when she struck the back end of a school bus on February 23.
According to DPS, the Bertram school bus was traveling eastbound on Texas 29 and was preparing to turn left onto County Road 252 when the Hardins’ vehicle collided with it. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
A 16-year-old on the school bus suffered non-life-threatening injuries and has recovered, DPS officials said.
DPS officials said that Sierra Hardin had been wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, but Caleb, who had been sitting in the front passenger’s seat, was not.
The school district's curriculum coordinator Shelley Reavis said that the entire school was affected by the loss of the two students. Grief counselors and youth ministers were brought to the school to give support to the teens’ friends.
"It's a very sad day at Burnet High School and in our community," she said.
Sierra Hardin, a sophomore, was a member of the school's cheerleading squad; Caleb was described as having a good sense of humor and loved baseball, music, hunting and fishing. Both teens were very active Christian youth group members.
The attorneys and staff at VB Attorneys would like to extend their deepest condolences to the Hardin family and all of the teens’ friends as they cope with this tragic loss.