Amateur hobby bike racer Héctor Mario Saldarriaga, a 61-year-old Colombian immigrant living in Houston, Texas USA, was the fatal victim of alleged drunk driver Crystal Reyes, who ran over Saldiarriaga on Saturday 8 May 2021.
Crystal Reyes, 38, is being held in the Harris County Jail and will face criminal prosecution on the charges of intoxication homicide and failure to render aid. Conviction of a charge of homicide by intoxication is punishable by a sentence of up to 20 years in jail.
On Saturday morning Saldarriaga, known among his friends as ‘El Paisa’, was enjoying a group ride just like he did every weekend. During the ride he had a mechanical issue and stopped to fix the problem on the side of Galveston Road, a wide, four-lane thoroughfare with a substantial shoulder for cycling.
While Saldarriaga was standing on the roadside repairing his bicycle, Reyes’ Ford F-150 truck traveling at full speed rammed him fatally. Saldarriaga had no chance to avoid the impact and was killed upon impact. After the blow, the truck continued at a high rate of speed before being pulled over by police, where they discovered front end damage consistent with impacting Saldarriaga. Reyes then failed a field sobriety test, while eyewitness testimonies also identified her as the person who had run over Saldarriaga.
Saldarriaga was passionate about cycling and always looked forward to participating in weekly group rides, as well as local amateur races including Chappell Hill Classic, Fayettevillee and Medical Colleagues Classic. Considered a friendly and jovial cyclist always willing to help, he will be dearly missed by the Houston cycling community.
PHOTOS: Saldarriaga Family