'Ride of Silence' honors lives lost to motor vehicle crashes
The 5th Annual National Ride of Silence in McAllen event Wednesday evening paid tribute to cyclists who have been injured or killed by motor vehicles in the Rio Grande Valley.
The 10-mile ride of silence is aimed to let others know the importance of sharing the road.
One of those victims is recently deceased 32-year-old Melissa Robles.
"I was there waiting and I turned around and I saw her coming back and I looked forward looked and around-- I heard a noise,” said her brother, Sam Robles. “A noise that I still hear quite frequently, honestly, and it was a vehicle that hit my sister."
Along the route, riders visited symbols called ghost bikes. Melissa Robles has a ghost bike in her honor on 2nd Street, where she hit by a motor vehicle one February morning while riding with her brother.
"Not paying attention for those few seconds can have a very devastating impact or ends someone’s life," said Sam Robles.
Melissa Robles is the first cyclist life lost this year in McAllen, but the city's police chief says a deadly accident can happen at any time.
"I think it's a double challenge for us,"said McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez. "At McAllen, we have a motor vehicle accident at the rate of one an hour. We have a motor vehicle accident in McAllen at a rate of 8,000 a year."
"It’s something I wouldn't wish on anybody," added Sam Robles. "It’s something that's been really devastating for myself, for my family, for my loved ones, for the community."