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Harley Owners Group Beaumont chapter demands accountability after rising motorcyclist deaths in Southeast Texas

Jefferson County District Attorney elect Keith Giblin is also a motorcycle rider, so he knows first hand what they experience on the road.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Motorcycle safety advocates sat down with Jefferson County’s incoming district attorney on Friday to discuss some actions on how they can enact change.

Over the summer, Southeast Texas has seen its fair share of fatal motorcycle crashes. 

There was one near Bridge City on Highway 87 and Highway 62, another in Bridge City that took the life of one 30-year-old man and 2 more in July in Port Arthur. 

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Harley Owners Group (HOG) Chapter #4974 met with incoming District Attorney Keith Giblin.

Giblin is also a motorcycle rider, so he knows first hand what they experience on the road and the tragic consequences of when people don't drive safely around motorcyclists. 

"It's really tough seeing friends and colleagues, brothers and sisters fellow riders experience close calls or pass away due to tragic consequences that are preventable," he said. 

The group gathered to discuss ways to make the road safer for everyone. They also talked about ways to hold other drivers accountable when the unthinkable happens.

"There should be some laws enacted where if you run over a motorcycle and kill that person, you should get charged, vehicle homicide, something other than a slap on the wrist. It starts with the legislature and the people up in Austin,” said HOG Chapter #4974 Director Van Jordan.

This topic hits close to home for Jordan. in December 2021, his nephew Corey Sennett was struck and killed while riding a motorcycle on College Street in Beaumont. 

He says, no one was ever charged in this accident. 

"I look at like eight cases here in the Golden Triangle since December 30th. Eight cases that there has been nothing done about it. Nothing we haven't heard anything from the people, my sister hasn't even heard an apology nothing," Jordan said. "So tell me there is something wrong with this. You know Corey Sennett's life shouldn't be in vain."

Giblin says he will take situations like this very seriously, whether a reckless driver hit a car, motorcycle or anyone else. 

"We have talked about criminal negligent homicide, if a person is reckless in driving a vehicle. Speeding, doing other things, being distracted or whatever. Then hits a car, or bicyclist or motorcyclist then there is a penalty for that. It's a state felony with up to two years in prison," he said. 

HOG has held rallies to raise awareness. They are behind ‘A Ride for 500 Lives’ and even partnered with the Texas Department of Transportation to help spread the message, "look twice, save a life." 

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