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ROAD ACCIDENTS

Police arrest 24-year-old in Madrid for killing cyclist in weekend hit-and-run

The victim, aged 32, is the first person to be killed while using a BiciMAD public rental bike

A tribute to the dead cyclist on Alberto Alcocer street.

A 24-year-old woman from Madrid was arrested on Thursday and charged with the hit-and-run that left a cyclist dead at the weekend.

Javier Vela, 34, was seriously injured after a car rammed into his bicycle on Alberto Alcocer street in the early hours of Sunday. He died in hospital a few hours later.

The suspect, a resident of the Hortaleza district, admitted the facts when officers came to arrest her, said a spokesman for the Madrid Municipal Police.

Testimony provided by an eyewitness helped investigators find the vehicle they were looking for

The accident took place when the victim had just taken a bicycle out of a docking station operated by BiciMAD, the Madrid public rental service.

The driver was at the wheel of a grey, luxury four-wheel-drive Mercedes. Instead of stopping and aiding the cyclist, she sped away.

The spot where Javier Vela was killed after hiring a public rental bicycle in Madrid.

Police officers reviewed footage from all security cameras in the area, particularly from banks and residential communities. But the images were of poor quality, said the police spokesman.

Testimony provided by an eyewitness helped investigators find the vehicle they were looking for. Car parts left behind at the site of the crash, including headlight and bumper fragments, also helped determine that the vehicle had been built between 2005 and 2011.

While the suspect’s identity has not been revealed, the police said that she had made a illegal turn on the street right before the accident, and that the street lights in the are meant that the cyclist was fully visible.

Joint effort to find the culprit

Spain’s traffic authority, the DGT, gave investigators a list of all registered vehicles that matched the description – a total of 6,500 in Spain, of which 900 were in Madrid. The Municipal Police were joined by officers from the Civil Guard and the National Police in a joint effort to locate and investigate each one of these vehicles.

Officers showed up at the suspect’s door on Thursday afternoon and arrested her on charges of reckless homicide and failure to provide assistance. The police are now trying to determine whether anybody else was with her in the car at the time of the accident.

Two elderly people were also run over in a separate incident on the same weekend.

English version by Susana Urra.

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