By FRANCISCO E. JIMENEZ
Investigators from the San Benito Police Department are piecing together the events that led to a fatal two-vehicle collision involving a motorcycle on the 33100 block of FM 732, directly across from Angela G. Leal Elementary.
“At approximately 6:20 in the morning, the department received a call in reference to a two-vehicle collision in front of Leal Elementary,” said SBPD Detective Rogelio Banda Jr., speaking from the scene of the accident on Friday morning. “When the units arrived, they observed a motorcycle as well as a two-door vehicle that were involved in the accident. From what we know at this time, there is a 38-year-old male who died at the scene of the accident.”
San Benito CISD Superintendent of Schools Antonio G. Limón confirmed at approximately 10 a.m. Friday that the 38-year-old man who perished in the accident, identified as Juan Luis Espinoza, was a bus driver for the school district and was on his way to transport the high school baseball team to a tournament.
“School officials just learned that an early morning accident has claimed the life of a San Benito CISD Transportation Department employee,” read a statement provided by Celia Longoria, Director of Community Relations for San Benito CISD. “The accident happened this morning in close proximity to the Angela Gerusa Leal Elementary campus, located on FM 732.”
In the statement, Limón was quoted as saying, “We are saddened to learn about the death of one of our very own. At this time, we ask for prayers for the family while they cope with this unexpected and sudden loss.”
“He was a young man with a very bright and promising future with the district,” San Benito CISD Transportation Director Rolando Monsevalles said of Espinoza. “He was conscientious, punctual and respectful. He had all the qualities we always look for in career personnel.”
According to Banda, the 21-year-old driver of the automobile involved – a blue Ford Mustang – was transported to a local hospital. The detective said the driver of the Mustang will be arraigned Saturday but did not reveal on what charges or whether they’re associated with the fatal accident.
When asked if the thick, early morning fog may have played a factor in the accident, Banda said, “We are still in the preliminary stages of the investigation. Investigators are still here at the scene. They’re still piecing everything together. We don’t know too much about the facts.”
Read this story in the Feb. 24 edition of the San Benito News, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.