hunting park street

600 block of Cayuga Street

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Adelso Matos, a 17-year-old boy who was murdered by a suspected drunk driver on Sunday night in the Hunting Park section of Philadelphia.

According to NBC-10, Matos was riding his bike on the 600 block of Cayuga Street in Hunting Park at 6:39pm on Sunday, when a 28-year-old driver, who police say is suspected of driving drunk, ran a red light and struck Matos. Via the report:

“He needed CPR so I told everybody to move so I could do my job,” Martes said. “I tried to do the best I could but I just couldn’t keep up with him.”

Matos was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7:15 p.m.

Matos is the second Philadelphia bicyclist killed by a driver in the last two months, and the third this year. Philadelphian Vijay Mohan was killed crossing Girard Ave. in mid-May and Walter Smith was struck by a truck in Kensington in March.

Other than those deaths, there’s been a number of violent traffic incidents this spring, including a Texas woman being struck and killed by a duck boat in Chinatown, a Temple University senior getting hit by a licenseless teen driver in North Philadelphia, and two toddlers killed in separate hit-and-run incidents on April 13—and the drivers of those latter incidents have not yet been brought to justice.

Similarly, South Philly resident and cyclist Ronald Deets was apparently assaulted by a driver after tapping on a car that’d nearly struck him while turning. (The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has met with Deets, spoken to the police, and contacted a lawyer in an attempt to see that Deets sees justice in this case.)

In the cases of some of these tragedies, the solution is better enforcement. In others, many of the proven planning suggestions laid out in the Better Mobility platform could have helped avoid some of these instances. Or, at least given the victim a better chance of survival.

But for the most part, let’s be honest: These drivers are seemingly distracted, at best, and in many cases, just out of control. Drunk driving, driving without a license, leaving the scene of a crash, physical violence: These are disturbing actions made by careless individuals that too often end with the senseless deaths or serious injury of our most vulnerable road users.

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