Former Texas A&M Official Critically Injured In Crash

Jay Kimbrough (Texas A&M photo/file)
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(May 17, 2014) A former deputy chancellor of the Texas A&M System and close friend of Gov. Rick Perry was in critical condition Saturday after a motorcycle accident Friday evening.

Multiple sources told KBTX-TV in Bryan that Jay Kimbrough crashed his motorcycle just before 6 p.m. Friday on Highway 6, three to four miles north of Navasota.

State Troopers say a medical helicopter was called to take him to the hospital.

St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan said Friday night that Kimbrough was listed in critical condition.

"Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers," Kimbrough's daughter, Melissa Beardsley, posted on the KBTX Facebook page.

Kimbrough is currently employed by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission where he deals with veterans services.

It is "a topic he’s very passionate about," according to Stephanie Goodman, the director of communications for the THHSC.

"We are all pulling for Jay," said Goodman. "He's an amazing guy with an uncanny ability to get right to the heart of an issue. You can't imagine how many veterans he's helped to get services, resolve problems and navigate government programs. He's also stubborn as a mule, and I hope that never-say-never attitude helps him make a full recovery."

Kimbrough was fired by the Texas A&M System in September 2011 after his position was eliminated by current Chancellor John Sharp.

Before his career with the state, Kimbrough was a member of the military.

He enlisted in the Marines Corps in 1966.

In May of 1967, his helicopter was shot down. Kimbrough was badly wounded and he earned a Purple Heart.

Texas Monthly named Kimbrough one of the most powerful people in the state in 2011, calling him "The Fixer" because Perry would regularly slot him into roles when agencies needed help.

"In 2007 Perry named Kimbrough conservator of the Texas Youth Commission, which oversees the state’s youth lockups, after a sex abuse scandal left the agency in disarray," the article read. "The plainspoken Vietnam veteran rode his Harley to far-flung TYC facilities for personal inspections. He was blunt about which heads had to roll—quite a few—and reporters ate it up."

Kimbrough has served as the judge of Bee County, and has held positions with the Texas Commission on Private Security, the Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and TxDOT, among other jobs.

(Steve Fullhart and Sylvia Villarreal contributed to this story)