In their recent piece about the deaths of two Zombie Zone cyclists, Bicycling magazine left out important facts regarding one of the cases.
In May 2015, Hinkel was at mile 99 of the region’s premier event, the Horsey Hundred Century, when a pickup truck crossed the centerline and hit him head-on. Witnesses called 911 immediately. The driver, 29-year-old Odilon Paz-Salvador, who had a history of substance abuse and was allegedly drunk at the time, continued three miles down the road until police pulled him over at a mobile home park—as Hinkel lay bleeding on the truck’s bed cover. Emergency responders found Hinkel there and rushed him to the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Here are the rest of the facts:
(a) Paz-Salvador is an illegal immigrant.
(b) Paz-Salvador had at least three prior aggravated DUIs, one of which had his blood alcohol level at 0.3.
(c) Paz-Salvador’s deportation orders had been sitting in bureaucratic Hell for more than a year.
(d) Paz-Salvador was not “allegedly” drunk: he was bombed off his arse. He confessed to smoking marijuana and had beer in his truck.
(e) After hitting Hinkel head-on, Paz-Salvador was fleeing the police.
That he was even in the United States, let alone allowed to walk the streets or–worse–drive on them, is a travesty.
Like Hinkel, I rode Horsey Hundred 2015. My group was finishing when he got hit; we were three miles ahead of him. (We started long before he did; elite riders like Hinkel often start later whereas groups like mine–who are intentionally slow–start earlier.)
Hinkel was very likely enjoying the last couple miles of what was a long but pleasant ride. He no doubt had enjoyed a root beer float and other goodies at the Bethel Church rest stop, which was the final rest stop before the finish. The hardest parts of the ride were over, and, at mile 99, it was relatively flat the rest of the way. He had one more turn to make, then he’d be riding into Georgetown college where he would finish, check in and get credit for the Kentucky Century Challenge, and then knock down some nice food.
That all went to crap when Paz-Salvador showed up, struck Hinkel head-on at a high rate of speed, and then tried to flee the police with Hinkel–badly wounded–in the bed of his truck.