• May 31, 2022

Cyclist Marvin Ola Killed by Car on Westheimer Rd in Houston, TX

UPDATE (June 7, 2022): Sources have identified the victim of this accident as Marvin Sabaj Ola.


Houston, TX — May 30, 2022, a bicyclist was struck and killed by a car while trying to cross Westheimer Road in Houston.

Authorities say the incident happened around 10:20 p.m. near the intersection of Westheimer and Greenridge Drive. Investigators believe the cyclist was trying to cross the road outside of a crosswalk when he was hit by an eastbound sedan. News reports say witnesses to the crash provided conflicting accounts of what happened.

The cyclist, a man in his 20s, was transported to a local hospital where he later died.

Police say the car's driver was not intoxicated but may have committed other offenses that could result in charges. The investigation continues.

No further information is currently available.

Commentary on Marvin Ola Accident in Houston

UPDATE (August 25, 2022): Later reports indicate the accident victim had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .32 at the time. I report that with no judgment, but evidence that he was significantly over the legal limit may mean there's more to investigate--including whether someone else should be held responsible for his tragic and fatal injuries.

What do I mean? Well, Texas dram shop law holds businesses that over-serve alcohol responsible for the injuries their intoxicated patrons cause or suffer. That's why finding out where the drinks came from is a crucial (but often neglected) step to ensure victims and families get justice after they're hurt by that over-service.

I'm not saying I know a particular bar broke the law, but that's an important detail to work out in case a business is endangering its customers and community. Will the police do anything about that? Unfortunately, probably not. After alcohol-related crashes they rarely look for the drinks' source. If a dram violation is suspected it's usually best to seek help elsewhere from people who know how to prove it. With clear evidence in hand many victims and families have held businesses accountable for the devastating damage they helped cause.

Bicyclist Marvin Ola Killed by Car on Westheimer Rd in Houston, TX

ORIGINAL: Reports can't really paint a full picture of what happened here yet, and this soon after it happened it would be unrealistic to think police would have all the facts. However, I have a feeling some people are eager to volunteer their personal theories. Comment sections about virtually any crash contain accusations of speeding, distraction, or in a few cases even impairment. Police apparently ruled that last one out on the driver's part, but without making any accusations I'd point out that no mention was made of the bicyclist. I'm not pointing fingers here, just acknowledging that some possibilities can't be ruled out until they're fully examined.

With that said, though, impairment is far from the only explanation and all care must be exercised to find the right one. There are still many variables to consider: Vehicle conditions or malfunctions, visibility and lighting, weather, road hazards, potential medical issues, whatever the witnesses described to police...the list goes on, and until these and other concerns have been addressed it's anyone's guess what happened. A crash caused by a momentary lapse in judgment might look the same as one caused by low visibility or another caused by impairment, but the law might treat each of those very differently.

I understand the desire to make sense of unfortunate events as quickly as possible, but with only the known details that can't be done effectively. Until investigators are able to better describe the cause and circumstances of the accident I discourage speculation. The focus should instead be on how to help the victim's loved ones in their time of loss.

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