Community wants justice for teen killed while riding bike in Mercedes
A call for change is answered in Mercedes after the community rallied together for more to be done after a teen was fatally struck by a car while riding his bike last week.
David Gobellan was riding his bike back home from the gym on Mile 2 East last Thursday when a woman struck him from behind.
"He was a best friend to everybody. He was so great as a person," said Lauren Pitts, David's best friend since middle school.
One week after the crash, dozens of friends of David's continue to stand outside where David was hit, mourning their brother.
"All of us are devastated. As you can see, we all came together to make a difference with this street and the lights and stuff. It hit all of us hard, if you went to the hospital, there was a big line of people trying to be there for him. So, it hit us hard," said Jaime Rodriguez, who played basketball and football with David since sixth grade.
Now, David's friends are demanding answers from the city.
"We just want some light poles, fix the streets, put up some speed bumps. You know, fix the speed here," said Rodriguez.
And they're getting them.
CBS 4 News reached out to every single city council member. Only Mayor Henry Hinojosa and Mayor Pro-Term Ruben Guajardo replied for comment.
"I can assure you, ma'am, the lighting has been ordered as of 5 o'clock," said Guajardo.
City Manger Sergio Zapata also replied to CBS 4, saying more information would become available at a later time.
Chief of Police Olga Maldonado released new statements from witnesses, as well.
Although the driver is not facing charges because she stopped to render aid, the case remains under investigation, according to Maldonado.
Maldonado released a detailed account of a timeline of the crash:
- At 8:23 p.m., a Mercedes police officer showed up to the scene after stumbling upon it.
- At 8:26 p.m., a La Feria police officer responded after a 911 call dispatched him to the area.
- At 8:28 p.m, an ambulance was called for David.
- At 8:36 p.m, the ambulance arrived at the scene. David was taken to Valley Baptist Hospital, where he was admitted to ICU.
David's friends say even though nothing will bring him back, they can make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else.
"We're the future of Mercedes and we want our kids to be able to ride bikes down here, run without worrying about someone hitting them or something," said Rodriguez.
At Tuesday's city council meeting, friends and family gathered to voice their concern about the lack of light on Mile 2 East where the accident happened.
But members walked away.
Guajardo and Hinojosa both say they walked out because there was no public forum on the agenda.
"We're all hurting, all of us from the city," said Guajardo. "Someone lost their life. I will take care of this."
For now, David's supporters say they'll be waiting.
"We all love David, we know he would want us to be here for him, out here fighting for him. We all love him and we're all here supporting him," said Rodriguez.
Even after life, he's still giving—as David donated all of his organs.
The football player's funeral is set for Sept.15, which would have been his 20th birthday.
"He may have left here, but I know he's here, I know he's standing beside us all right now," said Pitts.
The family is having a balloon release and candlelight vigil for David at 7 p.m. at the scene of the accident on Mile 2 East.
They are also selling barbecue plates on Sept. 22 for funeral expenses.