Anniversary of NKY woman’s death renews call to raise awareness for bicycle safety

Friends hold bike ride one year anniversary of NKY mother
Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 11:20 AM EDT
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NEWPORT, Ky. (WXIX) - Dozens of people gathered in Newport Sunday to remember a Northern Kentucky woman who was killed one year ago while riding her bicycle.

Gloria San Miguel was crossing the 11th Street bridge on August 20, 2022, when police say she was struck and killed by an SUV.

To mark the anniversary, San Miguel’s friends organized a ride to raise awareness for bicycle safety.

The five-mile ride began at Roebling Point Books & Coffee on Greenup Street where San Miguel worked.

She had just been promoted to store manager when she was killed.

“She was really one of the hearts of our locations. She greeted people. She had the nicest smile. She went out of her way for the community,” said Richard Hunt, owner of Roebling Point Books & Coffee.

Hunt says he was the one who had to tell San Miguel’s co-workers.

“I said I know Gloria’s gone, you know. Gloria’s been killed and depending on how close they were to her, their reactions were, you know, everything from ‘It can’t be, I just saw her yesterday’ to ‘How could that happen?’” Hunt said.

“It’s been a very hard year for everyone who knew her but we just see how much she contributed to the community,” said San Miguel’s friend Julia Keister.

In response to her death, the Northern Kentucky community raised over $46,000 for her family and a petition drive was started to demand the City of Covington create bike lanes in San Miguel’s honor.

Last September it was announced that a two-way protected bike lane will span the 11th Street/Girl Scout Bridge which connects Newport and Covington, according to Matt Butler with the Devou Good Foundation.

60-year-old Mark Phipps pleaded guilty in July 2023 to second-degree manslaughter, tampering with evidence, leaving the scene of an accident and driving with a suspended license in connection with San Miguel’s death, court documents show.

Three weeks before hitting San Miguel, Phipps was arrested in Erlanger for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and his driver’s license was suspended, according to court records.

Phipps will be back in court on September 6 for sentencing.

He faces up to 10 years in prison for the hit-and-run crash

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