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Hit-and-run suspected after bicyclist killed in southeast Houston

August 25, 2018

A woman brought traffic on the busy Cullen Boulevard to a halt Friday afternoon to try wiping the street clean of blood where a bicyclist died after being hit by multiple cars.

The mournful scene in southeast Houston followed the hit-and-run death of a 52-year-old bicyclist Thursday night near the bus stop on the #29 Metro route along Mallow Street. A second cyclist was also killed overnight — bringing the count of bicyclists killed on Houston-area streets to at least two dozen since 2014.

A black sedan heading north on Cullen hit the man, whose identity has not been released, after he stepped off the bus, according to Houston police and witnesses. Authorities believe a second vehicle also struck the man, who died at Memorial Hermann Hospital.

“I heard the thud and the second thud. I was sweeping the floor,” said barber Phil Jackson, who works at the nearby Elite Barbershop. “I walked out and saw the guy lying on the street. He was bleeding pretty bad from his head.”

Another barber, while cutting a boy’s hair, suggested the city build “a little bus drop-off area” to prevent similar deaths.

Both Jackson and Pastor Bernard Womack of the neighboring Church on the Rock said the street can be dangerous.

“It’s pretty busy as far as traffic flow, but that time of night is not that heavy,” Womack said.

A second cyclist was killed crossing the dimly-lit West Mount Houston near Ella Boulevard early Friday in north Harris County.

The driver, who remained at the scene, didn’t see the bicyclist, said Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dennis Castanie.

“There’s no lighting out here,” Castanie said.

Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted later that a separate vehicle that stopped at the West Mount Houston crash site was also hit by another car.

“The driver of that striking vehicle did flee the scene,” Gonzalez wrote.

Houston city officials vowed to improve bicycle safety in May after a string of bike fatalities, including a woman killed by a dump truck at the intersection of Sunset and Main near Rice University. Fourteen months earlier, Rice professor Marojorie Cocoran was killed at the same intersection by a Metro light rail train.

nicole.hensley@chron.com

@nkhensley

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