A Hallsville man died Sunday night after wrecking his motorcycle and then being run over by a pickup truck whose driver fled the scene in rural Upshur County, said investigating Texas Depatment of Public Safety Trooper Brandon Love.
Officers were seeking a white pickup which ran over Maxwell Kyle Hardin, 35, as he lay in the roadway of FM 726 after wrecking the motorcycle in an accident which also injured his girlfriend, Love said.
Hardin died after being taken by ambulance to East Texas Medical Center Gilmer, where Upshur County Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace W.V. Ray pronounced him dead at 8:35 p.m., said Love.
Donna Rene Miller of Hallsville, who was marking her 36th birthday, was taken by ambulance to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview with possible head injuries, but was expected to recover, Love said.
She and Hardin had left a birthday party for her at her home in Hallsville, the trooper said.
Authorities do not know whether it was the motorcycle crash, or the pickup, which killed Hardin, Love said.
The trooper gave this account of the accidents and related events:
The couple was southbound on FM 726 between the intersections with Hwy. 154 and FM 1650 (near Glenwood), when Hardin swerved the 1999 Honda Shadow to miss a deer. The driver lost control and ran into a ditch on the roadway’s right side, throwing him and Ms. Miller off the motorcycle.
Hardin was lying in the southbound lane when, probably within 30 seconds, the southbound pickup ran over him and stopped momentarily before continuing southward on FM 726.
A man who was sitting on his porch witnessed the motorcycle accident and was going to help when he saw the pickup run over Hardin.
The witness couldn’t tell anything about the driver, but said nobody exited the vehicle. Authorities have no description of it, other than it was a white pickup, and anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Tyler DPS office at 903-939-6000 or the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office at 903-843-2541.
Leaving the scene of the accident was a felony offense.
Hardin and Ms. Miller weren’t wearing helmets, but she was able to call 911 on her cell phone. Love was notified of the incidents at 7:15 p.m.
Those were the first of four traffic crashes attributable at least partly to animals in rural Upshur County Sunday evening. The other two, both caused by a calf who strayed into FM 2263 three miles northeast of Gilmer (off Hwy. 155), resulted in no serious injuries, according to Love.
David Sterling, 55, of Gilmer, was southbound when his 2001 GMC pickup struck the calf, Love said. Sterling exited the truck, was charged by the animal, and received a minor knee injury when he ran and jumped back into the vehicle, said the trooper.
Love said he was called to that accident at 10:30 p.m., arrived at 10:39, and was turning his patrol car around when he witnessed the second crash. The calf had run northward up the road, and 55-year-old Amron Dailey of Gilmer overturned her southbound 2005 Chevrolet Malibu when she swerved to miss the animal, the trooper said.
“I saw her car rolling in my headlights in the ditch. . . I saw it roll twice,” Love said at the scene. Ms. Dailey escaped injury when the vehicle ran off the roadway’s right side and ended up right side up, straddling a ditch.
Ms. Dailey was wearing her seat belt, which “definitely saved her from getting ejected,” Love said.
Both accidents occurred near the intersection with Blue Bell Road, and both Sterling and Ms. Dailey were alone in their vehicles, Love said. Both reside on FM 2263, he stated.
Love and an Upshur County Sheriff’s Deputy used a flashlight to spot the calf in a pasture beside the road. The animal jumped up and ran a short distance away from the officers into the pasture.
Rain began within an hour after Ms. Dailey’s crash.