Houston police are asking the public for information about an apparent hit-and-run that left a cyclist dead in Brays Bayou — potentially the third fatal bicycle-vehicle collision in less than two months.
The body of 40-year-old Nabor Rosas-Inclan was discovered Monday at 7:45 p.m. by a pair of men fishing in the bayou just west of the Houston Ship Channel and near the eastern end of the Brays Bayou Bike Trail.
Evidence gathered at the scene has led investigators to believe the victim was riding north on Broadway as it turns into Harrisburg when he was struck by an unknown vehicle. The alleged crash — which occurred where the boulevard crosses the bayou — landed Rosas-Inclan in the water.
Spokesperson John Cannon with the Houston Police Department tells CultureMap that the man was last heard from late Sunday evening when he spoke with his roommate on his ride home from work. Police believe the accident happened shortly thereafter.
An investigation is ongoing, although no known witnesses have come forward as of Wednesday afternoon. Official autopsy results from the Harris County Forensics Institute are pending.
Though the exact circumstances surrounding Rosas-Inclan's death remain unknown, the sheer thought of yet another recent hit-and-run death has Houston's cycling community on edge.
"City council passed a landmark safety measure in May that made driving closer that three feet to a cyclist a ticketable offense. But so far HPD hasn't enforced it at all."
Twenty-four-year-old Chelsea Norman was killed by a motorist along Waugh on Dec. 1, and Stephen Belle was fatally struck on Dec. 20 as he crossed Normandy near I-10 East. Neither case has been solved.
Bicycle advocate Fred Zapalac, who co-owns the popular Blue Line Bike Lab shops, feels that wide roads and flat geography make Houston an ideal city for cyclists. However, continual and often deadly collisions between bikes and vehicles prove that the city government can do more to protect vulnerable road users.
"City council passed a landmark safety measure in May that made driving closer that three feet to a cyclist a ticketable offense," he tells CultureMap. "But so far HPD hasn't enforced it at all . . . and few drivers even know about the law."
As of December, police had yet to write a single ticket for violating the new rule, according to the Houston Chronicle.
"Houston isn't any more or any less bike-friendly than other cities," Zapalac says. "But there's a prevailing attitude towards cyclists that still makes the city unsafe.
"The three-foot ordinance has the potential to save lives. Without enforcement though, its just a toothless law no one respects."