Teen’s death on FM 78 spurs call for streetlights
Bicyclist Joshua Ortega died after being hit on roadway
Residents on the city’s northeast side want streetlights installed along FM 78.
The request comes a day after Joshua Ortega was killed while riding his bike along the busy roadway Wednesday night.
The 16-year-old was wearing dark clothes at the time of the accident, and the driver who hit him said she never saw the teen.
Ortega’s friend, Kenneth Chism, said he was shocked to learn of his friend’s death, but not surprised by the way it happened.
“This is not the first time this has happened on this road. It's happened plenty of other times,” he said. “It's just that dark out here.”
Bicyclists who ride on the road said they’ve had vehicles swerve to avoid them even though they’re riding their bikes on the shoulder.
Sondriqua Cunningham was hit by a car two year ago, and said the incident has made her change what she wears while riding her bike at night.
“I normally have bright clothes, or something bright on me. Last time I rode at night I had a flare so people could see me,” she said.
Skylor Johnson rides along FM 78 regularly, sometimes with his young son in a cargo carrier behind his bike.
Johnson’s bike is covered in bright reflectors as well as flashing lights because he feels it’s up to the bicyclists to keep themselves safe.
“You got to know where you are,” he said, referring to FM 78. “I got lights on the bike. I want people to see me when I'm coming.”
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