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Ex-UofL tennis coach named as driver who hit, killed jockey walking on I-64

Rex Ecarma
Rex Ecarma
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 4:47 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The driver who struck and killed a well-known jockey on a Louisville freeway on Halloween is former University of Louisville tennis coach Rachelito “Rex” Ecarma, an accident report from the night of the crash shows.

34-year-old Miguel Mena was killed after being hit on Interstate 64 between the Hurstbourne Parkway and Blankenbaker Parkway Exits on Oct. 31, Jeffersontown Police Department investigators said. Mena got out of a Lyft at Hurstbourne and Bunsen Way and walked up the nearby onramp to I-64. He had successfully crossed the eastbound lanes before he was hit by westbound traffic.

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Jose M. Mena Rodriguez, 34, of Louisville, was killed Oct. 31, 2021 after being hit by a...
Jose M. Mena Rodriguez, 34, of Louisville, was killed Oct. 31, 2021 after being hit by a vehicle on Interstate 64 in Jeffersontown. Rodriguez was a jockey who rode twice in the Kentucky Derby under his professional name of Miguel Mena.(Source: Churchill Downs)

According to the Jeffersontown PD accident report, three factors could have contributed to Mena being hit — the fact that his clothing was dark and not visible, he was drinking and he was walking in the middle of the street.

The report shows Ecarma was in the SUV with a 15-year-old relative at the time of the crash. He passed a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer test, but he refused to provide a statement without his lawyer present. His lawyer then called investigators the next day to say he wouldn’t provide one.

He was not charged with any crime.

Ecarma was fired by the UofL in 2019 after an internal investigation revealed he bullied and mistreated players throughout his 29-year stint as the tennis coach.

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