San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Road Safety

Fourth cyclist victim of hit-and-run dies

Lucía Mata Durán, the fourth cyclist who was run over by a speeding driver on Jan. 29, died Tuesday afternoon, the press office of Calderón Guardia Hospital confirmed.

Mata, 38, was the only victim who survived the accident, which occurred early on a Sunday morning on the road that connects the eastern San José suburb of Curridabat to the town of Tres Ríos.

Three of the cyclists died on the scene and Mata was rushed in a very serious condition to the downtown San José hospital. The cyclists were on their way to Irazú Volcano in the province of Cartago when the accident took place.

The driver, a 32-year-old man, fled the scene, turning himself in only after officers found his car at an apartment just 500 meters from the site of the accident.

A judge, however, released the man on bail. He was ordered to surrender his passport and sign in at the Prosecutor’s Office every two weeks, and forbidden from driving any type of vehicle.

The fatal accident prompted several reactions, including public demonstrations and an order from President Luis Guillermo Solís that a group of relevant government institutions draft a plan to improve protection for cyclists. That plan has not yet been released, although in related news, construction began this week on the San José section of a new bike path that will run from San Pedro to La Sabana.

Thousands of cyclists on Feb. 5 gathered at La Sabana Park, west of San José, and staged various demonstrations including this human mural demanding respect for them on the roads.

(Mike O’Reilly, Aerial Shutter, Via ChepeCletas)

Contact L. Arias at larias@ticotimes.net

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