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Blotter: Detached big-rig wheel kills Sanger motorcycle rider on interstate in Denton

Update 10:24 a.m.: Denton Police have identified the motorcyclist killed Tuesday as Brady Burger, 23, of Sanger. 

A motorcycle rider died Tuesday after being struck by a tractor-trailer's detached wheel on southbound Interstate 35 near West University Drive, according to police. 

Department spokesman Bryan Cose said the 18-wheeler had been traveling northbound on Interstate 35 when two of the trailer's rear wheels came off. The wheels flew over the divider and struck the rider in the southbound lanes south of West University Drive, Cose said.

Cose said the man had been driving a BMW motorcycle. Another passenger car was involved in the incident, but the occupants were not injured, he said. 

The driver of the 18-wheeler stopped at the scene. Police were called about 1:44 p.m. and shut down the two outside lanes on southbound Interstate 35 for several hours. 

First day of testimony complete in Bonilla trial

Crash witnesses and family members of the victims took the stand Tuesday for the first day of testimony in Luis Bonilla's jury trial.

Bonilla, 37, is accused of starting a multi-car crash on Feb. 6, 2016, while driving his Ford F-350 on East University Drive near Mayhill Road. According to a Denton police arrest affidavit, he struck a Nissan minivan while traveling between 65 and 70 mph, resulting in the deaths of 8-year-old Edgar De Luna and 11-year-old Lesly De Luna, both from Whitesboro. Another minivan passenger, a 4-year-old boy, was severely injured in the wreck.

Bonilla faces two counts of manslaughter and a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Denton police say they believe Bonilla was making a phone call before the crash.

Assistant District Attorney Michael Graves, who is one of the prosecutors on the case, said they called a total of 16 witnesses to the stand Tuesday, including the father of Lesly and Edgar.

"Most of the witnesses today were civilians who witnessed the defendant driving at high rate of speed and failing to brake before striking the mini-van," Graves said in an email. "Some also stopped and administered first aid to the children. Tomorrow [Wednesday] we will call the medical examiners and Denton [police department] accident investigators."

The trial is taking place in Judge Jonathan Bailey's 431st Judicial District Court.

Other reports

2200 block of Fort Worth Drive — Denton police are looking for two suspects who robbed a Domino's Pizza employee at gunpoint during a delivery Monday, according to a report.

The 19-year-old victim had been making a delivery at the Center Point Mobile Home Park in South Denton when two men took his cellphone, wallet and vehicle, the report said.

The victim was not injured and walked to a nearby convenience store to call police. Responding officers couldn't locate the suspects in the area.

This is the second robbery in nine days involving a pizza delivery near that mobile home park. A 19-year-old Pizza Hut employee said he was robbed at gunpoint Oct. 22 at a home in the 2400 block of James Street.

No arrests have been made, according to Denton police.

3000 block of Roselawn Drive — Medical examiners are still working to identify the man who was hit and killed by a Union Pacific train Monday afternoon near the 3000 block of Roselawn Drive in South Denton.

Officials said the man's body had been scheduled for an autopsy Tuesday morning.

The train stopped about 100 yards south of the road, after the man had gone under the train, Denton police spokesman Shane Kizer said. The caller initially said a female jumped in front of the locomotive, but police located a male body about halfway down the train, he said.

Denton police received the call about 4:45 p.m. Monday.

700 block of Park Lane — A 51-year-old woman was arrested Monday after a domestic disturbance involving a knife at a South Denton home, according to police.

The woman's daughter called police about 6:30 p.m. The woman, who was armed with a knife, had been fighting with her boyfriend, according to the daughter.

The woman eventually was charged with assault causing bodily injury and taken to Denton City Jail.

3500 block of East McKinney Street — A 21-year-old woman reportedly pushed her mother against a wall and bit her arm Monday at the Rosemont at Pecan Creek apartments, according to police.

She was arrested about 10:30 a.m. on a charge of assault causing bodily injury. It's unclear whether the mother needed to be taken to a hospital.

Prosper — Prosper residents turned in about 230 pounds of expired prescription drugs and other medications on Saturday at the Central Fire Station for National Drug Take Back Day, according to a town news release.

The Drug Enforcement Agency started the national event in response to the growing number of crimes related to abuse of prescription drugs and other medications. Pain relief drugs prescribed to surgery patients can wind up in the hands of drug abusers or peddlers, and some are extremely dangerous when used incorrectly, the release said.

The Denton Police Department did not participate in the event. They do, however, keep a drug disposal kiosk in the department lobby for unused medications. The Denton Police Department is located at 601 E. Hickory St.


From 7 a.m. Monday to 7 a.m. Tuesday:

The Denton County Sheriff's Office handled 878 service and officer-initiated calls for the agencies it serves, and 49 people were booked into Denton County Jail.

Denton police handled 153 calls for service and made 18 arrests.

Denton firefighters handled 23 medical calls, four vehicles crashes and two calls for public service.

FEATURED PHOTO: Denton police investigate an accident Tuesday that killed a motorcycle rider on South Interstate 35 near West University Drive.
Jeff Woo/DRC