‘He Reached a Lot of People:’ Cyclist Struck, Killed in DC Was Outspoken Advocate for Bike Safety

A cyclist who was struck and killed on Florida Avenue NE Friday by a driver in a stolen van was an outspoken advocate for bike safety.

Friends and the cycling community returned to Florida Avenue and Benning Road on Saturday to remember David Salovesh.

"He really reached a lot of people," friend Rudi Riet said. "My day stopped when I heard of his death yesterday, but the reason I'm going today is because there's such an uplift of support."

A vigil is planned for Sunday morning, when a white-painted ghost bike is set to be placed near the crash scene in Salovesh's memory.

D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen tweeted about the loss that was felt throughout the cycling community.

He said on Twitter that Salovesh was "a leader, an advocate, & someone that always pushed us to do better & do more."

News4 spoke to Salovesh in 2016 about biking in Washington, saying that a better understanding is needed between cyclists and drivers.

"It has become a thing where people have each other in their sights and it's cars versus bikes and bikes versus cars. It's all people trying to get to and from work, to and from places they go," Salovesh said.

Police say Salovesh was following the flow of traffic when the van's driver sped through a red light and then struck the cyclist.

Salovesh died at the scene. He was 54.

The driver, Robert Earl Little Jr., was arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and second degree murder, police say.

There has been a spike in traffic fatalities in D.C. recently: 2018 was the deadliest year since 2011.

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