Mother of pedestrian killed in Port Arthur collision talks of loss

Published 12:11 am Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Mernique Bias is left to deal with the loss of her daughter, who was struck by a vehicle and killed while walking down U.S. Highway 69 early Sunday morning.

Her daughter, Catherine Leday, 31, of Beaumont, leaves behind a 3-year-old child who doesn’t know of or how to comprehend her mother’s death. Bias lost her only son to suicide in 2013 and now her only daughter.

Police responded to the auto-pedestrian crash at approximately 3:49 a.m. Sunday in the 5100 block of U.S. 69 southbound, which is just before the Texas 73 exit.

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The Port Arthur Police Department has not released information about the vehicle that struck the woman or if the driver was issued a citation, but did say this was not a hit-and-run. It appears there was no criminal intent in the incident.

“We are not releasing any information until the investigation is complete,” PAPD Det. Mike Hebert said on Tuesday.

The grieving mother knows her daughter, whom she called Cat, went to a Port Arthur emergency room Saturday evening before her fatal collision Sunday. After leaving the ER, the victim ended up near the Walmart parking lot in Port Arthur prior to the collision that ultimately left her dead.

“Maybe she didn’t have a ride or something and ended up walking to Walmart,” Bias said. “Somebody must have been concerned because a policeman came and checked on her (before the collision).”

This was sometime around 8 or 8:40 p.m. or so, Bias said.

“Somebody took a screen shot of where it happened,” Bias said. “I don’t know if she was coming back from Port Arthur or walking. All I know is she went to the ER and I guess didn’t have a ride and took off walking.”

The fatal collision occurred seven hours later.

Cat, Bias said, had her own place in Beaumont near Lamar University.

“She was a real caring person, would give the shirt off her back and was so trusting of people to where it was kind of a fault,” Bias said. “She never met a stranger, and even as a kid, she was always friendly and loved people.”

Bias said she expects to find poetry when she gets to her daughter’s apartment.

“She was a poet and wrote a lot of stuff,” she said. “When I get to her apartment we’ll probably see her writings.”

Bias said funeral services have not been set. She’s still trying to figure out how to come up with the money.

There is a gofundme page set up for Catherine Leday to help with burial costs.