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Cyclist critically hit, community raises awareness of biking in KCMO

Pablo Memorial Ride
Posted at 1:34 PM, Dec 28, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-03 11:39:11-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Pablo Sanders Junior is recovering in the hospital after being hit by a driver just before midnight on Christmas Eve.

According to KCPD the cyclist was hit as a car was traveling northbound on Southwest Trafficway and had the green light at the Valentine Road intersection when the driver hit Sanders Jr.

KCPD also said the driver of the car tried to avoid the bicycle, but struck the bicycle with the left front of the car. The bicycle driver was wearing a bike helmet, but the straps were not secured properly, causing the helmet to come off in the collision.

The news sent shockwaves through the bicycling community.

"My heart sunk, truly did because that was the last person you would think is going to get hit by a car," said Christina Decker, Owner of Midwest Cyclery.

Decker said Sanders Jr. was always aware of his surroundings and knows the rules of the road.

"He wears a helmet, he has his lights, he follows the rules, he stops at the streets," Decker said.

Sanders Jr. was a frequent customer to Midwest Cyclery, he even got a tattoo of the store's logo on his leg. The bicyclist was very well-known in this community.

"If you don't know Pablo it's probably because you're either not on a bike or you're not walking on a sidewalk," Decker said.

Sanders Jr. is part of the group critical mass, spreading awareness about cycling and would always lend a hand.

"Unbelievably happy, always smiling, a heart of gold just a truly, truly good human," Decker said.

This incident raises concerns about bicyclist safety on busy roads like on Southwest Trafficway.

"We need to make sure that, we as cyclists follow the rules, and we as auto drivers follow the rules and keep an eye out," Decker said.

As Sanders Jr. remains in the hospital in the ICU, his friends have set up a Go Fund Me page asking for donations to help with medical expenses as they believe he will be back on his bike once again.

"He's going to recover, that's just, we got to keep that thought and we got to keep that going," Decker said.

KCPD said the driver of the car remained at the scene for the investigation and they were not arrested or cited. They also add, alcohol was not a factor in this crash.

Link to the Go Fund Me page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/pablo-sanders-jr-fund