The victim, retired tugboat pilot Jerry Wayne Lyons, was rushed to a hospital in Corpus Christi on a HALO-Flight helicopter that day, and he died days later.
“Yes, she did tell us,” Montez confirmed, saying his office had been notified in keeping with the contract between the BDA and Texas Mile organizer Shannon Matus.
The director said he was called by Matus the day of the incident and was told that Lyons had been rushed to Corpus Christi for treatment.
However, it was Nov. 6 before Matus contacted BDA attorney Trace Morrill and told him that the motorcyclist had died from his injuries.
Morrill then contacted Montez. The director said he then notified BDA board members of the accident.
“She said a gentleman had fallen off a motorcycle,” Montez said of the initial call from Matus.
In his obituary, the Sulphur, La. native had said he enjoyed “riding all his Harleys.”
This was the fourth Texas Mile event to be held in Beeville since the first event was held here in May 2011. Organizers also hosted Texas Mile appearances here in October of last year and in March of this year before this last one on Oct. 26-28.
Matus offered a comment concerning the incident.
“J&S Matus Motorsports and all of us associated with the Texas Mile event were saddened to hear of the passing of one of our participants,” she said.
“Those of us associated with motor sporting events take many steps to make as safe as possible the lifelong and never-ending competitive challenge between man and machine. This is done with numerous competitors, all understanding and knowing the inherent risk of man/machine versus speed.”
“At the Texas Mile event, we are proud to offer a location along with a system and procedures to make the competitive challenge as safe as possible for our competitors, spectators and all who are involved and attend.”
The Texas Mile event had previously been held at the former U.S. Navy auxiliary landing field in Goliad County, but it moved to Chase Field after the Navy decided to begin using that facility again for pilot training.
The Texas Mile provides speed hobbyists a chance to run cars and motorcycles as fast as they can go in one mile, using a state-of-the-art timing system to log their speeds. Every effort is made to keep the event as safe as possible.
The Texas Mile brings thousands of spectators and participants to the county each time it is held here. The event fills motel rooms and brings customers to Beeville’s businesses.
The City Council has provided funds to assist the organization in paying for insurance coverage required by the BDA.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.