Biker community remembers motorcyclist killed on Twin City Highway

Friends of 39-year-old Mario Colunga remember him after he was struck & killed while riding his motorcycle

NEDERLAND - It was the news that Shane Kibodeaux did not expect to hear on Thursday morning. His best friend since childhood, Mario Colunga, killed in a motorcycle accident. 

"Sick feeling in my stomach. Mario, like I said, he's a great friend. He's a great guy." said Kibodeaux. 

The Texas Department of Public Safety said Colunga was riding his Harley-Davidson on Twin City Highway near 7th Avenue Wednesday night when a driver of a pickup truck struck and killed him.

Troopers say the driver in the truck was intoxicated.

"No matter how safe you are, there's always somebody out there that's not paying attention. Somebody that's been drinking." said Steve Morgan.

Morgan is the Riding Academy Manager at Cowboy Harley-Davidson in Beaumont.

Colunga's friends said he was a safe rider behind two wheels and even worked at Harley-Davidson since he loved motorcycles so much.

"He put a smile one everyone's face all the time. I mean, he never wanted anybody to be upset you know?" said Jessie Williams, Colunga's friend.

Kibodeaux said Colunga was riding with his girlfriend on Wednesday night. According to DPS, she was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. 

The two were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash. 

Troopers say 46-year-old Richard Bean was placed under arrest for intoxication manslaughter and was transported to the Jefferson County Jail. 

 

From the Texas Department of Public Safety...

On November 15, 2017, at approximately 10:40p.m., the Texas Department of Public Safety responded to a two vehicle crash on SH 347 (Twin City Highway) in Jefferson County.  The crash occurred near 7th Avenue.

Initial reports indicate that a 2015 Harley Davidson was traveling southbound on SH 347.  A 2013 Chevrolet pickup truck was approaching SH 347 from a private driveway.  The driver of the Chevrolet pickup truck failed to yield the right of way, pulled out onto SH 347 and struck the motorcycle.

The driver of the motorcycle, 39-year-old Mario Ruben Colunga of Groves, was pronounced deceased at the scene by Justice of the Peace Tom Gilliam III.  Colunga was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

The passenger of the motorcycle, Emily White, 34, of Houston, was transported by ambulance to St. Elizabeth hospital with serious injuries.  White was not wearing a helmet.

The driver of the Chevrolet pickup truck, 46-year-old Richard Eric Bean of Groves, was treated for minor injuries at the scene and medically cleared.  The passenger, Alicia Kruger, 39, of Port Neches, was also treated for minor injuries and released at the scene.

Troopers determined that Bean was driving while intoxicated.  Bean was placed under arrest for intoxication manslaughter and transported to the Jefferson County jail without incident.  Intoxication manslaughter is a 2nd degree felony.

All information is preliminary and there are no further details to be released.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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