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The Police News
4 dead in Lone Star Rally-related deaths
Galveston

Two people riding motorcycles without helmets died in separate crashes Friday in Galveston, bringing the death toll to at least four as 250,000 bikers assembled for the annual Lone Star Rally.

Both the 54-year-old Rockwall woman and the 65-year-old League City man died after sustaining serious head injuries, Galveston police said.

Two other motorcyclists were killed Thursday in Hardin County en route to Galveston, according to the Department of Public Safety.

James Horton, 34, and Casey Horton, 35, of Lewisville, were riding a motorcycle behind a Dodge pickup on S.H. 326 in Hardin County when the truck turned into the shoulder, intending to make a U-turn. While turning, the truck hit their bike, according to DPS.

The Hortons, both of whom were wearing helmets, died at the scene, DPS said.

According to a Facebook post, James Horton was a mechanic at the Lumberjack Harley-Davidson shop in Nacogdoches.

The truck’s driver and passenger were not injured, DPS said.

The rally has seen a series of fatal crashes in recent years. In 2011, three motorcyclists were killed in separate crashes. In 2015, a man was killed when his motorcycle collided with a semitruck. And in 2016, a motorcyclist struck and killed two Katy residents as they walked along the Galveston Seawall.

The Friday crash involving the Rockwall woman happened shortly after 6 p.m., when several motorcyclists approached East Beach Drive while heading east along Seawall Boulevard.

As the man driving the lead motorcycle began braking to make the sharp turn onto East Beach Drive, which leads to Apffel Park at the island’s east end, a trailing motorcyclist failed to notice the slowdown and struck the lead motorcycle.

The striking motorcycle overturned, dealing “serious head trauma” to the Rockwall woman who was riding as a passenger, officials said. She died shortly after being transported to a nearby hospital with the male driver, who was treated for minor injuries.

Officials did not suspect alcohol played a role in the crash, officials said, and no charges were filed over the incident.

Less than three hours later, a man heading for the Galveston Causeway lost control of his motorcycle as he crested the 61st Street overpass. Witnesses told police the man was traveling “at a high rate of speed” as he left the nearby intersection of 59th Street and Broadway Avenue J.

He died shortly after being taken to a nearby hospital.

The DPS issued a news release Saturday urging drivers to “use extra caution around the estimated 250,000 motorcycles” expected at the Lone Star Rally. The festival ends Sunday.

“As we roll into the weekend (police) only expects an increase of visitors and vehicles to the island,” said Joshua Schirard, in a release from the Galveston Police Department. “As such, we would like to stress the importance of wearing proper protective equipment when you ride a motorcycle, including a helmet.”


GALVESTON POLICE DEPT PRESS RELEASE:

Two Fatality Motorcycle Accidents on the Island 

 

On Friday, November 2nd, Galveston Island experienced two fatal motorcycle accidents.  The details for both crashes are as follows:

 

300 Seawall: 6:08pm

As several motorcyclists were proceeding east on Seawall Blvd, approaching East Beach Dr, the lead motorcycle began braking as he prepared to turn right onto East Beach Dr.  One of the motorcycles behind him failed to see him slowing to turn and struck him.  The striking motorcycle, bearing a male driver and female passenger then overturned and slid off of the seawall.  The 54-year-old female passenger from Rockwall, TX, sustained serious head trauma as a result of the crash and died shortly after being transported to UTMB. The male driver was also transported to UTMB for minor injuries.  Neither rider was wearing a helmet.  Alcohol is not suspected to be a contributing factor in the collision; however, the driver consented to a sample of his blood being taken.  No charges have been filed at this time.

 

6300 Ave J: 9:41pm

As a motorcyclist was leaving the island, he left the light at 59th St and Ave J, traveling outbound at a high rate of speed according to witnesses.  As he crested the 61st St overpass, the driver lost control and laid the bike down on the roadway.  As a result, the 65-year-old driver from League City sustained a serious head injury and was pronounced dead shortly after being transported to UTMB.  The rider was not wearing a helmet, and no other vehicles were involved in the crash.

 

As we roll into the weekend the Galveston Police Department only expects an increase of visitors and vehicles to the island. As such, we would like to stress the importance of wearing proper protective equipment when you ride a motorcycle, including a helmet.

 

CPT Joshua Schirard

Operations Bureau Commander

Galveston Police Department