The third annual bike tour “Matamoros-Playa Bagdad” started at 8 o’ clock Sunday morning. Hundreds of people, from little ones to adults, joined the 21-mile race. They thought it was a family outing, but little did they know, 30 minutes later, a man under the influence of alcohol ended the life of Brownsville resident, 30-year-old Alejandro Alvarez.
The picture you see on the screen was taken right as the accident happened. The car swerved around the police escort and ran over a dozen bikers. the bicyclists and bikes were thrown in the air from the sudden impact. Miraculously, one of the riders was killed but several others remain in the hospital.
37-year-old Julio Garcia was in front of the pack. He says all he remembers is peddling and looking at the car police say was driven by Brownsville resident, Jesse Campos, go toward the pack.
вЂњI hit one of the guys and flew on top of those. I couldn’t see. Everything happened in seconds. Only thing that I can remember is I was sitting next to the road and I looked around I see guys thrown over there.вЂќ
The guys that were hit by Campos were his teammates from the Velocyraptors Cycling Team. The team has joined various races here in the Valley and it was the first time the team joined in the race in Matamoros.
вЂњIt was a good challenge to go across the border, just have fun that’s all, and have fun.вЂќ
Garcia says 7 members of the cycling team including himself were hurt. Three are still at Valley Baptist Medical Center. He’s recovering at home with bumps and bruises. Garcia says the only reason he’s alive is because of his protective gear.
Two bikers remain in the hospital in stable condition; the other is in serious but also stable condition. As for Garcia, he says he will hit the streets again after he makes a full recovery, but he’ll be more aware of his surroundings.