Covington company raises money in honor of cyclist killed in hit-and-run


COVINGTON, Kentucky – A funeral was held for cyclist and beloved Covington bookstore employee Gloria San Miguel on Friday. She was hit and killed by a driver on the 11th Street bridge in Covington on Saturday. Meanwhile, 60-year-old Mark Phipps, who is responsible for the hit-and-run accident, is behind bars.

Lil’s Bagels is right next to Roebling Point Books – where San Miguel worked – and owner Julia Keister says the loss of her work neighbor and friend to the work community near the Roebling Bridge is tremendous.

On Friday, she hosted a fundraiser that raised more than $2,000 for San Miguel’s surviving family. There is also a GofundMe page for the family.

The effusive support was evident in the store, as customer after customer said they had come to honor Gloria.

“Gloria was and is the best,” said Mike Wendling.

“People who didn’t even know her but only heard of her,” Keister said. “People who knew her and people who are going to her funeral today all showed up. Because of the community and because they care and because Gloria was one of those very special people.”

And for those who needed an outlet to grieve, a local art therapist set up an art station so people could express their feelings on paper.

“I even find it difficult to talk about it,” says customer Christina Heilig. “Feelings are raw and they’re visceral and sometimes it’s hard to find the words so it just makes you feel better when you have this opportunity to write something down or draw some hearts and like you’re giving back in a way that’s kind of Honoring Gloria’s spirit.”

Police say Phipps turned himself in on Thursday, and on Friday morning a judge set his bail at $1 million.

Now Keister wants something to change when it comes to security. She has already got thousands of people to sign a petition urging city officials to introduce more bike lanes in Covington.

“It’s a necessity, the lives lost should be enough to show how important they are,” Keister said.

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