San Antonio family of man killed while crossing street demands change

Juan Martinez died after he was hit by a car at North Zarazamora Street and Culebra Road

SAN ANTONIO – The family of Juan Martinez says he died after he was hit by a car at North Zarazamora Street and Culebra Road last Wednesday.

Martinez’s sister, Yolanda Betancourt, says her brother’s death should have never happened.

“It’s not easy. There’s so many memories,” she said.

Family and friends came together to remember his life at the very spot where he was killed.

Betancourt said her brother’s only way of transportation was by using the bus. He crossed Culebra Road while trying to get to the nearest bus pickup spot, which sits near the busy intersection near North Zarzamora Street.

Betancourt said her brother died trying to get home.

“Everyone is just heartbroken,” she said.

San Antonio police said Martinez was not using a crosswalk at the time of his death. However, his sister believes the road is a death trap, and crosswalks don’t help.

Martinez would have been 52-years-old this month, but instead of celebrating his birthday, his family is demanding change.

“How many more Juan Martinezes have to pass away before there is a change,” Betancourt said.

Betancourt says she wants to see slower speed limits and speed bumps along Culebra Road. She says she also wants to see the bus stop relocated.

District 1 Councilman Roberto Trevino said his office had heard concerns before. He said the road has been a problem spot for years.

“It’s one of the streets in our city that is very wide and takes a long time for pedestrians to cross,” Trevino said.

The councilman said there are several projects in the works to help improve infrastructure in the area.

He says he believes changes would be lifesaving.

“Every one of these deaths is preventable through a combination of efforts,” Trevino said.

Betancourt wants her brother’s death to serve as a message of change.

“This is the reason why we’re here,” she said.

VIA Metro Transit says it is coordinating with the city to design and construct improvements to the area. Those plans include building new sidewalks and creating safer crossing for pedestrians.

The project is still in design, but there are no plans to relocate the bus stops at this time.

RELATED: Man, 51, killed while crossing street on West Side, San Antonio police say

About the Authors:

Steven Cavazos is a traffic anchor and general assignments reporter in the weekday mornings at KSAT 12.

Before starting KSAT in 2017, Lee was a photojournalist at KENS 5, where he won a Lone Star Emmy in 2014 for Best Weather Segment. In 2009 and 2010 Lee garnered first-place awards with the Texas Association of Broadcasters for Best Investigative Series in College Station, as well as winning first place for Staff Photojournalism in 2011 at KBTX.