Fact Check

Bike Race

Rumor: Photograph shows a car plowing into a group of cyclists?

Published Jul 16, 2009


Claim:   Photograph shows a car plowing into a group of cyclists.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, January 2009]

This photo is doing the rounds, is it real?


Origins:   The above-displayed photograph of a motorist plowing into a group of bicyclists has

an aspect of cartoonish violence to it that has led many viewers to question whether it might have been faked or staged (possibly for a film shoot). However, the accident depicted in this picture was, unfortunately, all too real.

The incident shown here took place on 1 June 2008 during a 34-kilometer bicycle race along a highway running between the Mexican towns of Playa Bagdad and Matamoros. According to police, a 28-year-old motorist, apparently under the influence of alcohol, fell asleep at wheel of his Grand Marquis and plowed into a group of twenty cyclists who were participating in the race, throwing several of them high into the air as pictured above. The collision killed one of the cyclists, Alejandro Alvarez, and injured ten others. The moment of impact was captured by photographer Jose Fidelino Vera Hernandez.

Last updated:   18 May 2015


    Grimaldo, Roberto Aguilar.   "Relata Ciclista Sobreviviente Accidente en Tamaulipas."

    El Universal.   2 June 2008.

    Grimaldo, Roberto Aguilar.   "Nos Centró; No Fue un Accidente."

    El Universal.   3 June 2008.

    Associated Press.   "1 Dead as Car Plows Into Mexican Bike Race."

    3 June 2008.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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