A former Kilgore College football player, KC board member and longtime pharmacist was killed in a vehicle collision near Kilgore over the weekend.

A report from the Department of Public Safety office in Tyler said DPS Troopers responded to a two-vehicle wreck on FM-3053 Saturday, June 8 at 6:26 p.m.

Catarino Gallardo Mata, 76, of Overton, was traveling west on CR-2729 when he disregarded a stop sign at FM-3053 and was then struck by a northbound 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 driven by Robert John Martin, 50, of Overton.

Emergency responders transported Mata to UT Health Tyler where he was pronounced dead by Smith County Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Judge Mitch Shamburger early Sunday morning.

Martin and three juvenile passengers, a 13 and 14-year-old female and 9-year-old male, were transported to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Kilgore where they were treated and released.

According to an obituary posted by Rader Funeral Home in Kilgore, Mata moved to Kilgore in 1961 to play football for the Kilgore College Rangers. Mata worked as a pharmacist in the area for 51 years.

He served on the Kilgore College Board of Trustees for 12 years, was a KC Alumnus of the Year and was named a member of the KC Athletic Hall of Fame.

Mata’s son Rafe was a teacher and coach at Kilgore High School and is now a coach at West Rusk High. His daughter Brazie Adamez is a teacher at Kilgore Middle School and his daughter Miller Loudermilk is a school board member for Wylie ISD.

The Rader website states Mata’s life will be honored with a traditional rosary service at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12 followed immediately by visitation at Rader Funeral Home in Kilgore. There will be a memorial mass at Christ the King Catholic Church of Kilgore on Thursday June 13 at 3 p.m.

The DPS report states the crash remains under investigation. All occupants were shown to have been wearing seatbelts. 

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