Northwest Houston and cyclists across the city are mourning the death of David Leon Loya, who was killed in a collision with a school bus Thursday while riding his bicycle in the Heights.
The Houston Police Department said Loya, 23, was riding north in the bike lane on Heights Boulevard when he slid under a school bus while trying to avoid a collision. The Houston ISD bus was traveling east on 8th Street.
HISD said the driver of the bus, a 61-year female, and a student on board were not injured. HPD said Friday that no charges had been filed against the bus driver and its investigation into the crash was ongoing.
A vigil for Loya was held Friday night at the intersection where he died. HTX Bike Social stopped at the site during its memorial ride in his honor.
A Facepost post by PENGU Swim School-Houston Central, located at 984 Wakefield Dr. in Garden Oaks, said Loya previously worked there and was one of its original instructors.
“David was a huge part of Pengu Swim School for so long,” the post said. “He was a bright spot for our staff and his students. He had a smile as big as his heart. We’ll miss you David.”
Houston’s Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) offered its condolences to Loya’s family and friends in a Saturday news release. The 20-member committee, established by city ordinance in March 2018, advises and makes recommendations to the city’s Planning Commission and Planning & Development Department on cycling issues, including amendments to the Houston Bike Plan.
Two days before Loya’s death, the Planning & Development Department and Houston Public Works held a community meeting in the Heights to discuss a safety improvement plan for a stretch of 11th Street. The proposal, which is part of the Houston Bike Plan, calls for changing the street’s traffic configuration from four lanes to three lanes with a center turn lane and bike lanes on the outside.
“The BAC’s mission includes creating a bicycle friendly city that is safe for all users by 2027,” Saturday’s release said. “The standard for this is VISION ZERO, an international alignment of safety measures that seek to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy, and equitable mobility for all. All roadway deaths are preventable regardless of which mode of transportation is involved.”