Early this morning a car hauler flipped over at Crighton Road and Interstate 45 southbound. Several cars from the trailer were thrown onto the freeway. Traffic was backing up for the morning commute.
Marion Powell, 61 and his wife Sue were also southbound on their Goldwing motorcycle. They were pulling as memorial trailer behind them. Both were members of the Patriot Guard and going to Ellington Field to escort the body of SSGT Joe Nunez Rodriguez, the soldier who was killed in action.
As they topped the overpass at Gladsdell traffic was stopped due to the crash ahead. Powell slammed into the back of a Ford pickup truck driven by Nicholas Cheesman Jr. who was either stopped in the traffic or very close to being stopped. His motorcycle then went over the left rear fender of the truck flipping the motorcycle and trailer and ejecting both Powell and his wife.
At 7:13 a.m. MCHD was notified of the crash and sent two ambulances. PHI Air Medical and Life Flight were both dispatched but disregarded as the medic crew decided to transport both critical patients to Conroe Regional Hospital, one exit away.
Sue Powell was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. Marion Powell remains in very critical condition.
The freeway was closed until almost noon as Conroe Police and the Montgomery County District Attorneys Office investigated the crash.
On October 5 of 2012 both Powell and his wife Sue were coming back from Corpus Christi on Interstate 45 when they were involved in another crash with the same motorcycle just north of FM 3083.
According witnesses, a 2007 Kawasaki motorcycle entered the freeway at Loop 336, following another bike and headed north. Witnesses said the driver, later identified as 65-year-old Michael Lyles (of the same Willis address as the victim) veered into the barrier wall on the left side of the inside lane just after passing under the FM 3083 overpass, for no obvious reason, causing the bike to strike the barrier wall several times, ejecting Horton. Lyles and the bike he was following kept going.
The same witnesses said they saw Horton sit up, appearing dazed. They were stopped and attempting to block traffic and try to reach Horton, but before they were able to do so, a three-wheeled Goldwing motorcycle approached. The bike continued at the posted speed, not knowing why the cars were stopped, and tried to pass them on the left. Witnesses said Horton saw the bike coming toward her and raised her arms in front of her in a defensive motion. The Goldwing’s driver, Marion Powell of Willis, did not see Horton on the unlit freeway and ran over her. Witnesses reached her and found her unresponsive. Authorities believe she was dying or already dead.
Conroe Police say a witness then did something that should be noted and discouraged. The witness found Horton’s cell phone and took upon themselves to use it to find and notify her family of her death. As a result, Horton’s mother showed up on the scene of the accident, and had to identify her deceased daughter that way and now must live with that memory.
Powell fought to keep his bike from rolling over. His wife, Sue Powell, was riding on the rear of the bike and also fought to stay on. The force of her body broke off the rear right side arm rest. The couple was returning from a trip to Corpus Christi. Powell was able to safely stop his damaged bike a short distance down the road. The couple suffered only minor scrapes and bruises.
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