Bike safety event held in Bonita Springs after hit-and-run driver kills bicyclist in March

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
bike memorial
Credit: WINK News

A hit-and-run driver hit two bicyclists and killed one in March. Now, the lone survivor is holding a special bike safety event and hopes to change lives.

Life can change in an instant and it did for Cristin Madden. “It is a very, very strange thing to be involved in something and not have a memory at all.”

In March, Madden and her friend, Debra Purcaro were on a bike ride in Alva. That’s when everything changed.

“We got hit from behind and, you know, it was really just major confusion. Trying to piece all that together has helped me process it,” Madden said.

Only Madden survived the hit-and-run driver.

“Really it was hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that I couldn’t remember anything and what happened, and I needed to know,” Madden said.

She knew she lost a dear friend that day and said her helmet saved her life.

Now, she hopes her scary situation can help others and prove just how important helmets are.

For the first time, the City of Bonita Springs Bicycle and Registration Advisory Committee hosted a bike safety day Saturday. This gave adults and children the chance to learn about the safest practices.

Daniel Bender is one of the kids who were at the meeting. “On the crosswalk, you need to walk.”

“We’re learning how to be careful and wear your helmet and look both ways,” said Marshall Bender.

Callie Hall is another one of the kids who showed up. “It means a lot and it’s very helpful for everybody to know about bike safety.”

For Madden, this is a chance to change someone’s life. “Bicycle helmets do save lives; I’m living proof of that,” Madden said.

Fifty helmets were donated by Amazing Wellness & Chiropractic. The event allowed people to get their helmets properly fitted and people were able to get their bikes adjusted, too.

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