A Bridgeport man was killed in a two-vehicle accident early Monday morning on Texas 6 in Calvert, between Bryan-College Station and Waco.
Jason Mitchell, 21, was driving a 2009 Yamaha motorcycle north on Highway 6 about 4:30 a.m. when a pickup pulled out in front of him at Texas 14, according to Trooper Jimmy Morgan, a Department of Public Safety spokesperson.
The 2012 Chevrolet pickup was driven by James Chmiel, 53, of Bremond.
According to Morgan, Chmiel stopped at the intersection of 14 and 6, but then pulled into the path of the motorcycle. The bike struck the left front fender of the pickup, and Mitchell was ejected. He was wearing a helmet, but it came off when he was thrown from the bike. Mitchell was pronounced dead by Richardson County Justice of the Peace Keith Foltermann.
Chmiel was not injured.
Mitchell had spent the weekend in Bryan visiting friends Dylan Hines and Moses Ortiz, both students at Blinn College. All three graduated from Bridgeport High School in 2010.
Ortiz said Mitchell “loved his motorcycle.”
“That’s the only vehicle he had, and he drove that thing everywhere,” he said. “Anytime he had the spare cash … he’d come in a heartbeat. We had fun every time he came. … That’s what I like about right now. We had a really good weekend, so at least we got that in.”
Ortiz and another classmate, Diego Hernandez, recalled Mitchell’s love for basketball.
“Growing up, everyone plays all different sports, but as you get older, people dedicate their time to one sport, to their favorite, and basketball was his,” said Hernandez.
He also remembered Mitchell being a class clown.
“He made being in class that much better because he was always making you laugh,” he said. “If you were having a bad day, he always found a way to put a smile on your face.
“Whenever I think of Jason, I think of ‘wingman’ … and not just for me,” Hernandez said. “He’d try to help you out the best that he could.”
Hernandez said Mitchell even helped him meet his fianc e.
The entire Bridgeport Bulls football team went to eat at Dos Chiles on the first day of two-a-day workouts one season. Hernandez was interested in a young lady waiting on their table, so he left her a note. He didn’t have a phone at the time, so Mitchell said Hernandez could include his number.
“She ended up calling the number, and Jason explained to her how that I didn’t have a phone but how I thought she was cute … and he told her I was a good guy,” he said. “He really helped me out.
“And, well, it worked because I’m engaged to that girl.”
Ortiz said “he really lived life to the max.”
“He liked to push everything, and he was just always ready to do something,” he said. “In the end, friends are forever. We’ll lose him, but we’ll never forget him.”