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East Texas student, parent remember Palestine ISD teacher killed in crash

“He just always had a smile on his face. You could never see him without one.”
“Michael Coyne was my friend, my coach, and he was my supporter,” Palestine Junior High student Jillian Rhone said.
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 7:09 PM CDT|Updated: May. 24, 2022 at 10:14 PM CDT
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PALESTINE, Texas (KLTV) - On Sunday evening, Palestine ISD teacher and Coach Michael Coyne was killed in a crash after he and two students were hit by a driver going to wrong way.

Coyne and the students were on their way home from the Dallas Maverick’s game on Interstate 45.

The Mavs honored Coyne’s memory before their game against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, also lifting up the students who are hospitalized as a result of the wreck.

Coach Coyne was remembered by the Mavericks before their game against the Golden State Warriors...
Coach Coyne was remembered by the Mavericks before their game against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.(Palestine ISD)

“Michael Coyne was my friend, my coach, and he was my supporter,” Palestine Junior High student Jillian Rhone said.

Jillian Rhone played volleyball for Coach Coyne. “He was the first coach I’ve ever had and he made me feel good about myself,” Rhone said. “He always would tell me good job, you’re getting better.”

Although Coyne was Jillian’s volleyball coach, Jillian said he helped her in every sport, even attending basketball games as her fan.

“I made one of my shots and I heard him from the crowd just yell and he started screaming. He was so proud of me and it made me feel really great about myself,” Rhone said.

Jamie Rhone is Jillian’s mother. She is working with the school district to help the families impacted by the incident.

“Everybody loved him,” Rhone said. “He made impacts on all students wherever he was. He wanted to make a difference. He wasn’t just a teacher or just a coach, he wanted to shape the students and I think that’s what people are going to remember the most.”

Jamie Rhone said there will be a balloon release, candlelight vigil for Michael Coyne on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Palestine High School Parking lot.

Michael Coyne arrangements:
  • Visitation - Friday 5-7 p.m. at FBC Palestine
  • Service - Saturday 10 a.m. at FBC Palestine
  • Private family burial service Saturday afternoon

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