Ghost bike memorial for DC cyclist gets hit, destroyed by SUV

Wounds were reopened over the weekend as the driver of an SUV crashed into a memorial that paid tribute to David Salovesh, a longtime bicycle advocate who was struck and killed by a driver last month in D.C.

The white “ghost bike” memorial was left twisted and mangled at the intersection of Florida Avenue and 12th Street Northeast, the intersection where Salovesh was hit a month ago.

D.C. police are still investigating what caused Saturday’s crash. The driver reportedly fled the scene.

“It’s too much on the nose to hit the ghost bike that was honoring Dave Salovesh,” said Greg Billing, executive director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.

“It just reminds everybody who is working so hard to try to make the city safer how far we have to go still.”

The bicycle community and city leaders said they would quickly rebuild the memorial.

On Twitter, D.C. Council member Charles Allen called for safety improvements on Florida Avenue and said, “Yes, we’ll replace (the) ghost bike.”

Salovesh, 54, died after being hit by the driver of a stolen van April 19.

According to D.C. police, the driver was speeding, ran a red light, hit a car and eventually crossed the double yellow line on Florida Avenue, where he struck Salovesh and slammed the van into a tree.

The 25-year-old driver, Robert Little, was arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and second-degree murder.

“His death has just been devastating,” Billing said. “He was a father, he had a life partner and he was a pillar in the community.”

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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