Family, church community mourn loss of Port Arthur brothers killed in fatal crash

Published 11:14 pm Friday, September 8, 2023

Condolences and prayers were offered on social media in the deaths of Port Arthur brothers killed in a Louisiana crash early Thursday morning.

Jose Samaniego, 19, and Cesar Samaniego, 28, was killed just before 7 a.m. Thursday in a crash with an 18-wheeler.

Rev. Joseph Sigur of St. Joseph Catholic Church said he recently saw Cesar, who came in to register his child in religious education classes.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Sigur said he traveled to a hospital in Louisiana to administer the sacrament of anointing of the sick to a third person that was in the vehicle at the time of the fatal crash.

“We extend our condolences as a parish family, especially to Cesar’s wife and children and to the Samaniego Monreal family,” Sigur said.

Zaid Samaniego started a gofundme to cover the funeral costs, saying his brothers were on the way to work when the crash occurred.

Donations from the fundraiser are going to help cover funeral expenses and other necessary expenses, Zaid Samaniego said in the post.

He also asked for prayers for his family.

Louisiana State Police Troop D responded to the two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Louisiana Highway 384 (Big Lake Road) and West Tank Farm Road in Calcasieu Parish just before 7 a.m. Thursday.

The initial investigation revealed a 2015 Kenworth 18-wheeler driven by 47-year-old Albert Joseph Espree of Beaumont was traveling east on West Tank Farm Road and approaching the intersection of Louisiana 384.

At the same time, the driver of a 2021 Honda Civic was traveling south of Louisiana 384 and approaching the intersection of West Tank Farm Road, according to information from Louisiana State Police.

Police said Espree failed to yield at the stop sign and traveled into the path of the Honda. The impact caused both vehicles to travel off the roadway.

Jose Samaniego, the front seat passenger, was properly restrained and sustained fatal injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cesar Samaniego, the rear seat passenger, was not restrained and sustained serious injuries. He was taken to a Lake Charles hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

The driver of the Honda and the driver of the 18-wheeler, were both properly restrained and sustained moderate injuries.

Toxicology samples were obtained from both drivers and will be submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.