‘I just heard the phone drop’: Daughter of cyclist struck, killed recounts final moments on the phone with her mother

Danielle Gonzalez heard the fatal impact while she was on the phone with her mother

Family of bicyclist killed by drunk driver suing suspect, St. Mary’s strip bar
Family of bicyclist killed by drunk driver suing suspect, St. Mary’s strip bar

SAN ANTONIO – An avid cyclist for more than a decade, 44-year-old Beatrice Gonzalez was on the sidewalk in front of Central Catholic High School the night of April 7, waiting for the other cyclists to catch up. She was then struck by a vehicle that San Antonio Police said was being driven at a high rate of speed when it jumped the curb.

I just heard the phone drop and people screaming, and I heard the ambulance coming,” said Danielle Gonzalez, who was on the phone with her mother, Beatrice, at the time of the impact.

Gonzalez said she drove downtown in a panic to look for her mother, only to get lost. Then, someone called her.

They’re telling me ‘Don’t come,’” she said.

When she asked why, Danielle Gonzalez said they told her, “I’m sorry she didn’t make it.” She said the other cyclists also didn’t want her to see the extent of her mother’s injuries.

The 24-year-old driver, Samantha Castillo, was still at the scene as San Antonio Police did a sobriety test before taking her into custody.

Castillo has since been charged with intoxication manslaughter, her first arrest. Now, Castillo also has been named in a $20 million lawsuit filed almost exactly a month after Gonzalez was killed.

Danielle Gonzalez said, if she could, she’d ask Castillo, “Why did you have to do that? Why couldn’t you just call somebody to go pick you up?”

“We feel that justice must be served, and the way to do it is through our civil court system and the criminal system, as well,” said Fidel Rodriguez Jr., the family’s attorney.

Rodriguez said a still yet-to-be-named bar on the St. Mary’s Strip is also being sued.

“We are taking careful steps to make sure that when Bar X is identified. It is the correct bar,” Rodriguez said. “Profits over safety makes no sense.”

He also said that, with Fiesta coming up in June, revelers must remember, “Responsible drinking is very different from over drinking.”

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