Cyclist killed by drunk driver was a union iron worker

Joshua Alejos lived on Kings Highway, and he died two blocks from home Sunday morning.

Friends say he was a quiet, “low-key” guy, and he was part of a brotherhood.

Half a dozen Iron Workers union members gathered at an Oak Cliff bar Tuesday night, along with members of several Dallas cycling groups, to remember Alejos, who was hit by an accused drunk driver while riding his bike around 1:45 a.m.

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Alejos, 29, had been in Dallas about six years and worked on several high-rise construction projects, a dangerous job that he loved, his union brothers say.

He also loved Oak Cliff.

“He loved this community. He talked about it all the time,” said Julio Gamboa, an iron worker who roomed with Alejos for a few months during a job in Dallas recently. “He loved his bike, and he rode it every day.”

Alejos was Native American, from the Gila River Valley in  Arizona, friends say.

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Ryan Haney met Alejos at the Dallasite. Haney says he rode up on his bicycle wearing a Teamsters T-shirt that night, and the two bonded over their mutual love of bikes and organized labor.

Alejos had a tattoo on one calf of a Red Power fist. On the other calf was a Thomas the Tank Engine but with his own face on the front. He called it “Joshua the tank injun,” Haney said.

“He was actually very serious about where he came from,” he said. “But he had a sense of humor.”

Haney said his friend hated social media and eschewed personal technology. He was an old soul, often referring to people as “jokers” and “these cats.” He loved country music and used to hang out with KNON DJs at Sons of Hermann Hall every Saturday night.

Alex Moreno of Oak Cliff says he saw his friend’s bicycle — a red Schwinn with white bar tape and yellow cable housing — after hearing there was an accident. Moreno had just helped Alejos fix the bike up two months previously.

Witnesses say a black truck was speeding with its headlights off when it hit Alejos and threw him and his bike into a parked car on Tyler. That’s the white car in this photo. The driver of the truck was arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter. Several people at Tiny Victories bar, the site of Tuesday’s memorial, witnessed the accident, and a bar employee cleared Alejos’ airway until the ambulance arrived about eight minutes later.

A funeral is planned in San Antonio, where Alejos’ father and brother live.

Memorial ride planned

Bike Friendly Oak Cliff is planning to install a ghost bike — they’ve asked City Councilman Scott Griggs to figure out if there’s a way to make it a permanent fixture — near the site of the accident on Tyler. And they’re planning a memorial ride of silence on Sunday, Aug. 12, details of which are pending.

“We all ride these streets,” Amanda Popken of Bike Friendly Oak Cliff said. “This could’ve been any one of us.”

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