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Wife Of Slain Cyclist Pushes For Safety Measures After 2 More Deaths On Rickenbacker Causeway

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The 20th Annual Ride of Silence took place Wednesday evening.

The 5.5-mile double loop on Crandon Boulevard is meant to commemorate cyclists who have been killed in accidents and raise awareness for safety.

"We talked about the fact that it would happen again if nothing gets done, and, sadly, it did," says Maribel Reyes.

She was devastated to learn of the two lives lost this past weekend on the Rickenbacker Causeway.

Her husband, Walter, was the last cycling fatality on the Causeway seven years ago.

"It draws cyclists. It draws people walking. It's just a beautiful section of Miami," she says. "We have been fighting for years to make it safer."

She says Walter was killed by a drunk driver in January 2015.

"Wednesday morning at 5:00 he got up to do his training, because he was riding 100 miles for the Dolphins Challenge, and he didn't come back," she recounts. "Changes my life and those of my daughters in an instant."

Those that took part in the ride say they want to send a message about both cycling and driving safely.

"The number one issue is right here," Joe Lluhi says, holding his phone up. "Distracted drivers."

"If you go slower to pass a cyclist, you're only going to be late maybe a minute or two," notes Karina Abadia, who has taken part in the ride before.

This past Sunday, Yaudys Vera and Ogniana Reyes were struck and killed by the driver of a jeep. They were biking on the causeway just before 5 p.m. Police have not said what caused that crash.

Still, others continue to hope to see changes.

"Barriers are better than green paint," Reyes says. "I will celebrate anything that will save one life."

According to data from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles,  last year, in Miami-Dade, there were 730 bike crashes resulting in injuries and 17 fatalities.


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