What started as a daily bicycle ride for 59-year-old Ronnie Monroe Keller ended in his tragic death on Saturday night when drunk driver Vincent Paul Riojas struck him with his car and left Keller in the backseat to die.
Police say Riojas hit Keller on his bike on the 3400 block of East Main Street in Fort Worth, Texas-less than a mile from Riojas's house, which is where he fled with Keller still in his car. Damage to Riojas's auto indicates that when he hit Keller, the cyclist flew into the front windshield, over the roof, and partway through the back window. Since Riojas was covered in blood when they found him, police believe he may have removed the injured Keller from the back window and placed him in the backseat. Police found Keller in the car after Riojas's family called 911 when they saw their bloodied son and his visibly damaged Chevrolet Cavalier hidden around the side of the house.
This bicycle accident is horrific for so many reasons. If Riojas hadn't been driving drunk, he surely would have noticed Keller and avoided the accident in the first place. If he had called police immediately after the accident occurred, police believe it may have saved Keller's life-he was pronounced dead after being taken to a local hospital, and had lain helplessly injured in Riojas's car for about 20 minutes.
Of course Riojas was taken to jail; he was arrested on charges of intoxicated manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid, as well as resisting arrest and charges of an existing unrelated felony warrant. Unfortunately this will provide little comfort to those who lost a friend and family member in a tragic drunk driving accident that could have been avoided.