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The driver police said was responsible for the first cyclist death of 2019 has been indicted on charges of intoxication manslaughter.
Melissa Peoples, a 48-year-old Boerne resident, was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on two charges: intoxication manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid. She allegedly struck 58-year-old surgeon Naji Tanios Kayruz near Interstate 10 and Dominion Drive on Feb. 4 around 5:30 p.m. San Antonio police said she left the scene after hitting Kayruz.
“… [Peoples] admitted to being behind the wheel of the vehicle,” the San Antonio Police Department report from February stated. “Ofc. C. Schuler also stated that [Peoples] admitted to hitting what she believed to be debris, became frightened and left the incident location.”
The report about the incident said that Kayruz was pronounced dead on the scene by emergency responders. Police officers found a “mangled bicycle” and other items that appeared to belong to Kayruz scattered on the road. Officers arrested Peoples later that day. She was booked on driving while intoxicated charges.
A phone call to Peoples’ attorney, Demetrio Duarte Jr., was not returned Friday in time for publication.
Kayruz was the first of two cyclists killed in San Antonio this year after being struck by motorists. Tito Bradshaw, 35, was fatally injured by a motorist in April while biking down Houston Street at North Palmetto Avenue. The driver who allegedly hit Bradshaw was arrested for driving while intoxicated and intoxication assault but has not been indicted.
Cyclist deaths have not dropped significantly in San Antonio since Vision Zero was introduced in 2015. The initiative raises awareness and educate the public on reaching the goal of zero roadway serious injuries and deaths. The Texas Department of Transportation recorded five cyclist deaths in San Antonio in 2018.
Peoples has been out on bond since early February. Court records show that her trial date has been set for July 29.