Suspected drunken driver arrested in death of man riding bicycle

Wisconsin Bike Fed

Beloit Police have arrested a 29-year-old man from Clinton, Wis., who allegedly drove drunk and killed a man riding a bicycle near the Beloit Health System UW Cancer Center early Saturday morning.

The victim was identified as Mario Esquivel-Flores, 43. He is the 10th person killed while riding a bicycle on Wisconsin roads in 2015. The total matches the annual average of bicyclist fatalities for the state.

The driver, Brett R. Hundley, had a blood-alcohol level above the .08 percent limit when tested after the crash, police reported. He was arrested, and the case will be reviewed by the Rock County District Attorney’s office.

Hundley has two prior convictions for speeding and one for battery, according to online court records.

Interim Police Chief David Zibolski reminded motorists to avoid drinking and driving and to share that message with people around them.

Alcohol was a factor in more than one-quarter of the 33 deaths of people riding bikes in Wisconsin in 2011, 2012 and 2013, according to an analysis by Robert Schneider, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Over the same time span, 152 people were killed by motorists while walking, and alcohol was a factor in nearly one-third of those crashes.

News reports indicate that Esquivel-Flores did not have lights on his bike while riding on the city street about 2 a.m. Wisconsin State Law requires bicyclists to have a front headlight and a rear reflector. The Wisconsin Bike Fed, as part of the Share & Be Aware program, provides a listing of all laws that apply to people on bicycles and safety tips to avoid crashes. Free education and a complete listing of riding tips can be found here.

Hours after Esquivel-Flores was killed, about 500 cyclists passed safely through Beloit on the Wisconsin Bike Fed’s first Ride Across Wisconsin. Residents and supporters were out in large numbers, proving that Beloit is a welcoming place for people on bikes.

2 thoughts on “Suspected drunken driver arrested in death of man riding bicycle

  1. Tom, thank you for this post along with others you’ve made. It is hard to read about another fatality. But I’m glad the Bike Fed is making its statewide voice heard with these important updates.

    It’s tough to see bike fatalities up this year in Wisconsin. I’ve heard (but not in a rigorous look at the data) that the same is true in other states; and that motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities are up across the board, in Wisconsin and nationally. It would be great to see a review of the 2015 data from Wisconsin, other states and the US overall, and a discussion of possible causes. Are we driving more miles again, after a decade-long flat or downward trend?

    • I will do some checking on that Peter. Thank you for the note. Pedestrian fatalities are also up this year. I hear from people that distracted driving (texting and talking on smart phones) is an increasing problem, but tracking that is difficult. I am hopeful that changes in the state DOT crash reporting forms will make that easier to quantify. – Tom

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