Brother of bicyclist killed by impaired driver speaks out

(Courtesy: Reuben Preut via GoFundMe.com)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The brother of a bicyclist who police say was killed by a driver under the influence spoke to KRQE News 13 in an emotional interview.

On May 31, Cyprian Preut was struck and killed by a driver at Broadway and Central.

“My brother was out disk-golfing at Roosevelt Park and he was heading back home,” Reuben Preut said. “He didn’t want to ride up the hill on his bike, so he figured he’d go to the bus stop and wait for the bus.”

It was minutes after Cyprian posted a picture to Facebook near Hotel Parq Central that the horrific incident happened.

“This lady who was driving under the influence had hit him and that was it,” Reuben said.

It was sudden shock for Cyprian’s family. The 42-year-old was taken away from his wife, children, friends and family in an instant.

“He was…an awesome person,” Reuben said. “Generous, kind-hearted, strong.”

Police say 24-year-old Jenna Conklin is to blame. According to a criminal complaint, she admitted to taking Vicodin and drinking in the hours before the tragedy.

“How can you live with yourself after doing something like this?” Reuben said.

He’s not the only one who had harsh words for Conklin. A judge did, too, when she was in court last Thursday.

“You need to figure out how you are going to clean yourself up, and get yourself together, so when you are released from jail, you can be compliant with the laws of the state of New Mexico,” the judge said.

Conklin is now out of jail after posting bond on Saturday the 4th, charged with homicide by DWI – a third degree felony. Her conditions of release make the judge’s stern words less powerful.

Conklin was told she can drive on the condition that she uses an ignition interlock.

“I can’t believe they would give someone like that a license right away or even allow them to drive after doing something like that,” he said.

Reuben is just trying to move forward and honor his brother.

“Taking it one day at a time and just trying to keep strong for everybody else, keep strong for myself,” he said. “I know he would rather me be happy and carry on and do what I do versus to break down and just lose all hope for everything.”

The family has set up a GoFundMe account, which can be found here.

Reuben says Cyprian’s friends are already working on a ‘ghost bike’ memorial to be positioned at Central and Broadway.

A memorial service will be held at Roosevelt Park on Thursday, June 9.

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