Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Cyclist Dead in Matamoros

An intoxicated American driver plowed through a bicycle race in Mexico Sunday, killing a 16-year-old cyclist and injuring five others.

The race was taking place across the border from the U.S., in Matamoros, Mexico, and had Mexican and American riders participating, many of them under the age of 20.

The Brownsville based driver, 29-year-old Jesse Campos killed 30-year-old Brownsville cyclist Alejandro Alvarez, and injured Alejandro Salvador Tamez Guerra, 18 years old, Juan Machaita, 38 years old and Guadalupe Sustaita Martínez, 16 years old in the third annual Matamoros-Bagdad Cycling Tour. Two other unidentified riders were injured including a 14-year-old.

News reports both say Campos was under the influence, but one report said he was using cocaine, and another said he was drunk and had fallen asleep at the wheel.

The gender of the injured rider Guadalupe is not known, but the name is often for a woman in Mexico. Mexican races often combine fields by age, gender and ability.

A race flyer published on the Internet says the race on June 1 was to go from Campestre del Lago to the beach Bagdad, a distance of 15.5 miles or 34 kilometers. The notice said that gifts and breakfast would be given, and registration was $15 for regular participants and $10 for students--high by Mexican standards where local fun races are normally $10 and under.

The event was sponsored by two organizations, the Mexican Ciclismo en Linea (Cycling in Line), and the Brownsville, TX based Bicycle World of Brownsville. Their event notice also said, "This event is not for racing, but a familiar route where people of any age can always participate, and where many abilities can cover the course."

The event notice also said that the "race" course would have hydration points, with support from the Red Cross, Mexican transit police, Federal Police, Municipal Police, Civil Protection, the National Commission for Emergency, and a team of volunteers.

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