Kerrville, TX – Three members of the Thin Blue Line Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club were killed on Saturday in a head-on collision with an illegal alien who was allegedly intoxicated, according to court documents.
The suspect had been arrested at least three times prior to the deadly collision, and was out on bond for having crashed into someone else when the incident occurred, KENS reported.
The motorcycle club – which includes active officers, retired officers, many law enforcement supporters – had been celebrating the group’s birthday during a luncheon earlier on July 18, the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) said in a press release.
Afterwards, they embarked on a celebratory ride together along Texas 16, The Kerrville Daily Times reported.
The group was traveling southbound at approximately 12:10 p.m., when a northbound vehicle suddenly crossed over into their lane, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).
The DPS said the driver slammed into at least six of the motorcycle riders head-on, The Kerrville Daily Times reported.
At least two of the bikes burst into flames, according to the paper.
Three members of the club were killed in the crash, and four more were rushed to the hospital in critical condition, the KCSO said.
David Weed, public information officer for the Thin Blue Line Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, identified the deceased victims as retired Niles Police Department (NPD) Detective Joseph Paglia, retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Jerry Wayne Harbour, and Chicago Community Services Officer Michael White, according to The Kerrville Daily Times.
Retired Det. Paglia was serving as the motorcycle club president at the time of his death.
Harbour, a 75-year-old retired Eastern Airlines pilot, was a Thin Blue Line MC ambassador, according to KTRK.
White served as the club’s secretary, and was also a retired U.S. Army veteran, The Kerrville Daily Times reported.
Weed said that the group was enjoying “a leisurely motorcycle ride” prior to the Thin Blue Line Foundation’s annual meeting when the crash occurred, KTXS reported.
“Please join Thin Blue Line LEMC and Law Enforcement from around country in praying for these brave men and their families,” he said. “These men who spent their lives serving our Country and their communities with valor and honor.”
The suspect accused of causing the fatal collision has been identified as 28-year-old Ivan Robles Navejas, according to the Kerrville Daily Times.
Navejas was booked into the Kerr County jail on six counts of intoxication assault with serious bodily injury and three counts of intoxication manslaughter.
On Tuesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it had “lodged an immigration detainer” on Navejas, who the agency described as “an unlawfully present Mexican national,” KENS reported.
In addition to his new charges, Navejas was already out on $65,000 bond and awaiting trail for a 2018 felony aggravated assault charge.
According to his arrest warrant, the suspect allegedly crashed a Ford Ranger into a male victim during the 2018 incident, pinning him between the truck and a second vehicle, KENS reported.
He then sunk his teeth into the victim’s back and bit off a portion of his ear, according to court documents.
The DPS arrested Navejas for allegedly driving while intoxicated in 2016, but the Kerr County District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute the case for an unknown reason, KENS reported.
An ICE spokesperson said that the suspect didn’t meet its enforcement priorities at that time, but has not elaborated on what that means, according to the news outlet.
Navejas was also convicted of resisting arrest in 2015, but there was no record of an ICE detainer being filed at that time either, KENS reported.