A 32-year-old cyclist died on Monday after being hit by a car in Madrid in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The victim of the hit-and-run, Javier Vela Rodríguez, was knocked over while using one of Madrid’s BiciMAD public rental bikes, along Alberto Alcocer street in the northeast of the city center.
He was left hospitalized in a serious condition at Doce de Octubre hospital and died of his injuries the day after.
Since it happened on Saturday night and the driver took off, there are suspicions of reckless driving or driving under the influence
Iván Villarubia, expert on cycling issues
The victim, who managed two personal training centers belonging to the Fenómeno franchise, is the first person to die while using Madrid’s public bicycle service, a city official has confirmed.
The incident took place very near the BiciMAD docking station located on the street.
“We are working on the hypothesis that he was either about to enter or about to leave the BiciMAD station,” says Iván Villlarubia, an architect and writer for the influential cycling blog En bici por Madrid.
“It’s a straight stretch of road, so getting run over is very unlikely, especially since these bikes have their lights on by default,” he adds. “If the cyclist was about to enter, it’s possible that the bike slowed down and that the car was very close behind. And if he was exiting, all it took was for the vehicle to be going at high speed. Besides, since it happened on Saturday night and the driver took off, there are suspicions of reckless driving or driving under the influence.”
The municipal police are currently investigating the incident, while several citizen groups are setting up a tribute to the victim at the spot where he was run over. A march is scheduled for 8pm on Tuesday to demand heightened safety measures for cyclists.
English version by Susana Urra.