Death toll grows as another person is killed along stretch of Westheimer known for deaths, crashes

A bicyclist is dead after he was run over and killed on Westheimer, a stretch of road that has become deadly for a number of people.

29-year-old Marvin Sabaj Ola was on his bicycle Monday night, headed home from work, but he never made it. As he crossed Westheimer, between Briarhurst near Greenridge, like many others, he was hit by a white Nissan and died. 


He isn’t the first to die here. 

"We’ve worked many fatals on this particular stretch of Westheimer," Sgt. David Rose with the Houston Police Department Vehicular Crimes Unit explains.      

"We’re aware there have been multiple fatalities, and obviously we want to prevent anything like that from happening again. So my team, we have reached out to TXDOT to see what we can do," Houston City Council Member Mary Nan Huffman says. 

"They need to reduce the speed limit and people need to really pay attention. They just don’t. Everybody’s on their phone or texting and in a hurry," says Houston resident Arthe Ivory, who says she's had some close calls on this very stretch of road. "Yes, yes. Two. It’s frightening. It’s so frightening."


The state and city’s High Injury Network Vision Zero Initiative identifies this section of Westheimer as having a high number of crashes and deaths.

Those who witnessed Sabaj Ola’s last moments alive tell detectives the driver that hit him was on his cell phone and exceeding the speed limit. Houstonians who work and walk here say speeding seems to be the norm. 

"Yes. All the time. They drive fast through here all the time," Shaquita says who admitted she doesn’t use the crosswalk.

According to investigators, the bicyclist killed crossed mid-block, as did husband and wife, Sederick and Ann Barrett, who was killed crossing there on Westheimer in March.

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"We want to remind people to slow down on Westheimer. People travel way too fast going down that stretch, especially at night, and then also impress upon, whether it’s pedestrians or cyclists to cross at designated crosswalks, and make yourself visible," Huffman adds. 

HPD says the driver that killed the bicyclist was not intoxicated but was arrested on unrelated outstanding warrants. The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

TXDOT, meanwhile, says a crew was sent to assess the area Tuesday to see if anything can be done to improve safety there.