Community comes together to honor the death of 12-year-old
By Sarah Shurge – It started as what seemed like a normal day. February 14th, Valentine’s Day. A day dedicated to love. No one expected the day to end in the tragic loss of a loved one.
Jacob Dawson-Escobedo was right in front of Franklin Middle School, the school he attended, when he was hit and killed by a school bus.
Jacob was fatally hit at approximately 2:50 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14th. The sounds of police sirens filled the air. Annapolis St. was blocked off. A helicopter circled the scene.
“I remember thinking I was going to take the kids out after I got off work for Valentine’s dinner,” said Brian Escobedo, Jacob’s dad. “I was 30 minutes from getting off of work when I got the call.”
Classes had just been dismissed for the day. Joanie Dawson, Jacob’s mom, told 7 Action News that one of Jacob’s friends had called her after the accident.
Dawson rushed to the school and arrived in time to follow the ambulance and police vehicles to the hospital. Jacob was transported to the hospital but did not survive his injuries.
“I had to walk out of the hospital and just leave him there,” said Dawson. “That was hard because I shouldn’t leave my children and not come back for them.”
Wayne-Westland Community Schools District Superintendent John Dignan issued a letter to parents announcing the tragedy.
“Jacob was a wonderful student and friend who was always smiling,” said Superintendent Dignan. “He was also creative and smart and was working on a fantasy book. Jacob will be missed by his teachers and classmates.”
School was back in session at Franklin on Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after the accident. Emotional support teams were present at the school to offer assistance to students and staff coping with the tragic loss.
Jacob’s classmates covered Jacob’s locker with hand-drawn pictures, letters, and other expressions of their sorrow and grief. A small memorial sat outside the school a day after the accident with flowers, notes, and stuffed animals.
A family friend, Michelle Lozo, started a gofundme to help Jacob’s parents with funeral and burial expenses. Immediately, the community began to show their support with donations and kind words. Over 600 individuals donated, surpassing the gofundme goal amount.
“He turns 13 on the 23rd. We were supposed to go to Frankenmuth for his birthday. He was supposed to bring his best friend that lives around the block,” said Dawson. Dawson invited the community to meet her in front of Franklin Middle School, on Thursday, February 23rd, what would have been Jacob’s 13th birthday. She asked everyone to bring a candle to blow out for Jacob at 11:47am, the time he was born. Balloons were released as well.
“He’s just a good kid. He was really trying,” said Dawson.
Jacob’s celebration of life arrangements consisted of a viewing on his birthday, February 23rd, and Friday, February 24th. His family asked attendees to wear green or red, green being Jacob’s favorite color.
Jacob’s burial was Saturday, February 25th. His coffin was green and signed by loved ones.
“He was so excited about different things. We played “Dungeons and Dragons” together. We had a lot of stuff in common that we really shared on,” said Escobedo. “He looks like my mini-me. He looks just like me, it’s like I lost myself.”
Jacob was the brother of Dallas, Elizabeth, Carly, and Karson. Grandson of Darla Escobedo, David Taylor, Theresa Taylor, and the late Babs. Jacob is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Jacob was described as a kind-hearted young man, making friends with anyone, and was especially close to Donovan, Jaxon, MJ, and Kayden.
Jacob’s loved ones said he loved listening to music and he loved art, especially drawing. He loved being outside, loved camping, and could never get enough of fishing. He enjoyed playing sports: football, basketball, and skateboarding. He had lots of fun playing video games and he enjoyed collecting and reading comics.
Jacob will be missed by many.