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Community Rallies to Honor Katy Man Killed by Suspected Drunk Driver after the Taylor Swift Concert


April 26, 2023

By Natalie Cook Clark

Jacob Lewis, a 2021 graduate of Taylor High School, was killed early Saturday morning when he was struck by a suspected drunk driver on his way home from the Taylor Swift concert. The world has lost a beloved young man and a musical theater talent.

Photo credit: Laura Chiles/ LC Photographer

Struck By Drunk Driver After Taylor Swift Concert

Jacob Lewis, 20, and his sister April Bancroft, were on their way home early Saturday morning, April 22, 2023 from the Taylor Swift concert when they experienced car trouble. When Jacob got out of the vehicle to push it, the car was rear ended, killing him instantly. The driver fled from the scene but was later apprehended and charged by authorities.

“Jacob was a kind, loving, accepting young man who towered over everyone but never made anyone feel ‘small,” says his mother Karyn Lewis.

After graduating from Taylor High School in 2021, Jacob focused on his core classes at Lone Star College. He took a gap year to stay home and work at Chick-fil-A and had just been accepted into the Musical Theatre program at Sam Houston State University.

Photo credit: Laura Chiles/ LC Photographer

Favorite Roles & Broadway Dreams

“Jacob's dream was to perform on Broadway,” says Karyn. “He also aspired to be a playwright and/or direct. He had such a critical mind when it came to acting and could pick apart a performance to find the best parts along with the parts he would have done differently or made other choices.”

According to Karyn, Jacob had many favorite roles through the years including "Jafar" in "Aladdin" (Theatre Victoria T3 Summer Camp), "Shrek" in "Shrek the Musical" (MPJH), "Scar" in "Lion KIng" (THS Children's Theatre), and "Javert" in "Les Misérables" (THS Musical).

Last Hours at Taylor Swift Concert

“During the Taylor Swift Eras concert. Jacob told my daughter that he was amazed at the quality of her vocals and how powerful Swift's singing was the entire 3 hours," says Karen. She also said that her 6 foot 5 inch brother didn't sit down the entire concert.”

According to Karyn, Jacob loved how brave and bold Taylor Swift was for switching genres and succeeding in making great music in all of them.

Jacob's sister says they especially had fun singing and dancing to Swift’s “Shake it Off.”

Jacob Lewis and April Bancroft at Taylor Swift's Eras Tour.

The Katy Community and Fellow Taylor Swift Fans Rally

A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses. In a short time, the fund well exceeded its $75,000 goal and currently has over $123,000 with many Taylor Swift fans donating $13 to help support the Lewis family. The number 13 is Taylor Swift’s favorite number and a number many fans associate with her. Many even write 13 on their hand during her concerts.

Photo credit: Laura Chiles/ LC Photographer

A Love for Performing

“Jacob always loved to sing! He has been in school choirs since 4th grade when he was invited to be a part of the Spring Branch ISD Boys' Choir, through junior high at Memorial Parkway Junior High, and the Expressions group at Taylor High School,” says Karyn.

In junior high he decided he wanted to dance and didn’t let being one of the few boys to do so stop him. He took ballet at Katy’s Adamson Ballet School before he transferred to Suzanne Semans Studio so he could learn tap.

“He enjoyed playing all the Zelda, Mario (he was almost Pro level MarioKart), Pokemon, and Animal Crossing video games,” says Karyn. “Recently he and his friends have started online Dungeons & Dragons sessions, and he loved being the Dungeon Master to assist in telling and creating the stories.”

Celebration of Life on May 5th

A funeral is set for Friday, May 5th at 11:00 a.m. at Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church (1530 Norwalk Drive in Katy.) Jacob leaves behind Stephen Lewis (Father), Karyn Sobczak Lewis (mother), April Bancroft (sister), Connor Bancroft (brother in law), Mark Bancroft (nephew), and many other family members.

Jacob recently become an uncle and enjoyed sharing his love of music and Winnie the Pooh with his nephew.

Photo credit: Laura Chiles/ LC Photographer

The Jacob Lewis Memorial Scholarship

Instead of flowers, the Lewis family asks that people donate to this Go Fund Me account to help contribute to the Jacob Lewis Memorial Scholarship. Currently the account has over $5,000 of its $10,000 goal.

Honoring Jacob Through What He Loved

In addition to a memorial scholarship, the Lewis Family plans to honor Jacob’s memory through the things he loved the most. His father plans to stay involved involved in the local Pokemon community, an activity and group that Jacob loved. His sister, April, plans to attend concerts in his honor while his mom plans to volunteer with several local theatres. The family will continue to go to Broadway Across America shows and other plays and musicals to support what Jacob loved so much.

"Another thing we are doing to honor him is planting an oak tree, hopefully one at Taylor High School and one near Theatre Victoria," says Karyn. "His nickname was 'Oak' due to how much he towered over his friends."

Karyn hopes that people will learn from this unnecessary tragedy. “If you choose to get behind the wheel after drinking, you are not only endangering your own life, but all others on the road with you. With all the driving services we have available at our fingertips right now, I don't know why anyone would ever make that choice,” she says.

“There is a huge hole in my heart. I will miss him so very much,” says Karyn. “I knew he would do great things in his life, but now it has been cut short as he has been taken from this world too soon.”


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