Woman charged after fatally hitting bicyclist on Galveston street

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018
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Bicyclist struck by car in Galveston has died

GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Galveston police say a woman ran over two people on bicycles, killing one of them.

Five bicyclists were riding down 69th Street towards the seawall around 10 p.m. Monday. Police say the woman turned onto the street near Weis and hit two of them.

Both injured cyclists were taken to UTMB, where one victim later died. The victim who died has been identified as Marco Beltran, a recent graduate of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol lifeguard academy.

The U.S. State Department said the two injured students were part of a J-1 Visa program. The program allows students from other countries to live in the U.S. during the summer in order to make money and learn about the culture.

Beltran lived in an apartment complex near the accident.

Eyewitness News spoke with leasing agent, Cecilia Gutierrez, who said Beltran traveled from Colombia.

"He had only been here three weeks," Gutierrez said.

She said Beltran and his friends were biking to a nearby store when the collision occurred.

"He got off work," Gutierrez said. "He came to the property, and they were all hungry. They decided they wanted to go and grab something to eat and cook for each other," Gutierrez added.

The state department told Eyewitness News that they offer safety discussions to students as well as insurance packages - which covers accidental deaths.

Police say the driver of the vehicle, identified as 50-year-old Galveston resident Gerilyn Weberlein, showed signs of intoxication. She was arrested and charged with intoxication assault. Her bond was set at $100,000. Authorities say the charge could be upgraded due to the death of the victim.

When authorities asked Weberlein if she had consumed alcohol, she reportedly admitted to having one beer.

Police say the area where the accident happened is poorly lit and the bicycles did not have lights, only reflectors.