Former Zavalla city councilman dies in wreck

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A former Zavalla city councilman was killed Tuesday evening after being struck by another vehicle in an intersection on U.S. 69  South.

"The City of Huntington doesn't realize what kind of asset they lost," Huntington City Manager Bruce Milstead said.

John Wayne DuBose, 54, died at 7:27 p.m. at a Lufkin hospital.

According to the DPS report, DuBose was driving a 2001 Yamaha motorcycle southbound on U.S. 69 at 5:47 p.m. Jade Elizabeth Smith, of Huntington, who was driving a 2010 Ford F150, was eastbound on FM 844 and did not yield the right-of-way. DuBose, who was wearing a helmet, struck Smith.

"It was a few minutes into it before we realized that we knew both parties that were involved," Huntington Volunteer Firefighter Derek Clark.

Clark was on his way to see family when he came up on the wreck.

"He was just laying there and when I realized who it was, I talked to him, said his name, and told him that everything would be fine," Clark said.

The marks are still on the ground and the memories still fresh in Clark's mind.

"It's hard to put in words somebody that just has had an impact on everybody they come in contact with," Clark said.

"We went to school together," Huntington Police Chief Bobby Epperly, Jr. said. "John Wayne has always been John Wayne...He's always been the kindhearted person that he was."

DuBose was Huntington's water superintendent for 15 years and named their employee of the year several times.

"Not only was he one of our key employees, he was a dear friend and it's going to be some really, really big shoes to fill and we're going to miss him tremendously," Milstead said.

Aside from being the city manager, Milstead is also the municipal court judge in Zavalla. DuBose was one of his councilmen in Zavalla until mid-November when he resigned.

"Absolutely the sweetest spirit of a man that I've ever known," Milstead said. "I can't tell you how many people he helped and not even have to ask. He truly lived the life of a Christian."

From the scene of the wreck, you can see the Huntington water tower in the distance. It's a reminder of the water superintendent who dedicated his life to serving others.

DuBose had been on the Zavalla City Council until mid-November, when he resigned.

"We're still in the, we can't believe he's not here stage," Milstead said.

Funeral services are set for 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 11 at First Baptist Chuch in Zavalla.

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