4 metro bicyclists hurt or killed so far in June

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It has been a dangerous couple weeks for bicyclists in the Albuquerque area and Friday it got worse with a city garbage truck almost killing a woman on the UNM campus

Now, cyclists are speaking up about what’s going on.

Two cyclists have been killed and two more seriously injured this month with crashes involving a Rail Runner train, hit and run drivers, a drunk driver and now a garbage truck driver.

It has been one cyclist after another this June either hit and killed or nearly killed riding along streets and sidewalks in the metro area.

“It’s really unfortunate,” said said Austin Wetsch, a longtime cyclist from Albuquerque.

They’re images for Wetsch that are a stark reminder of how dangerous it can be to ride.

“This is typically how awareness is raised unfortunately in our industry,” said Wetsch.

Austin is president of a group of avid riders called Bike ABQ, which works on cyclist awareness and advocating for better bike routes.

With a growing population of bikers and drivers in the metro, Austin sees the two types of transit now clashing.

“That’s where we tend to see a lot of the incidents occur is areas where there isn’t proper bike lanes in place,” said Wetsch.

Along with a cyclist killed by the Rail Runner, three metro cyclists have been hit by cars this month.

Bernalillo County Sheriffs Deputies are looking for a work truck driver that killed a man biking on Old Route 66 near Tijeras on June 6.

Then on Thursday, APD says Robert Duran was drunk and high when he hit a cyclist near 4th Street NW and Montano Road NW.

Duran was arrested a few blocks away after he drived to drive off. APD says the cyclist that was hit, Jimmy Page, has a fractured leg, internal injuries and significant head trauma.

Then this morning, a woman was hit by an Albuquerque city garbage truck on the UNM campus near Lomas and Yale Boulevard NE.

APD says the woman who was hit is in critical condition with injuries to her arms and legs.

Austin believes cities can do more to stop it.

“At the end of the day, whoever is at fault, if there’s more room on the road there’s a less chance that an accident can happen,” said Wetsch.

The driver that tried to run from 2nd and Lomas will be likely be in court on Saturday morning. Police say the garbage truck driver involved in Friday morning’s crash was the one who called 911.

Albuquerque Police are still investigating if the garbage truck driver or the cyclist was at fault in Friday morning’s crash.

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