A longtime bike advocate was killed while riding in D.C. Friday morning in what police said was a crash involving a stolen van.
Around 10 a.m. an automated license plate reader detected a stolen white van along Benning Road NE, according to police.
Officers spotted the van and tried to stop the driver near Benning Road and Florida Avenue Northeast, but the driver fled.
Not long after that, the crash happened at 12th Street and Florida Avenue, killing 54-year-old bicyclist David Salovesh, of Northeast.
He was known by the Twitter handle @darsal.
“I don’t know if he was riding to work this particular morning, but Dave was a WABA member, an everyday rider and a friend to me and to WABA. He was an anchor to a whole community of bicyclists. We miss him,” Colin Browne, spokesman for the Washington Area Bicyclist Association said in an email.
From preliminary findings, D.C. police said it looks like the driver was speeding, ran a red light, hit a car, and eventually crossed the double yellow line on Florida Avenue, where he hit
Salovesh and slammed the van into a tree.
Robert Little, Jr., 25, of Northwest D.C. was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Police said the driver of the car that was hit was not hurt, but Little was taken to hospital to be treated for injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
Devastating afternoon. Today’s victim at 12th & Florida NE — Dave Salovesh / @darsal — was a friend to me & a friend to #bikeDC. A leader, an advocate, & someone that always pushed us to be better & do more. I am more than heartbroken today & his family is in my prayers tonight.
— Charles Allen (@charlesallen) April 19, 2019
Just so we all know a bit more about @darsal: he loved a good beer, was a connoisseur of great music, had a wry sense of humor, and an understanding shoulder when things weren’t going well. He would make you smile, even when life was shit. He wasn’t just a “bike guy.”
— Rudi Riet (@randomduck) April 20, 2019