WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - It was a typical day on the job for a bike courier until just after 10 a.m.Tuesday when a bicyclist was struck by an SUV in Northwest D.C. The courier, who friends say goes by "Mugabo" had life-threatening injuries and may end up suffering from brain damage.
"I've known him for about 15 years and seeing him go by, and just knowing he was out here, hearing this, it's going to be terrible," said a friend and fellow bike courier who goes by Lonnie.
D.C. police blocked off the the crash site as the Major Crash Reconstruction Unit gathered evidence by taking pictures and detailed notes. Couriers say witnesses told them they saw Mugabo fall off his bike, then hit by the SUV.
"Because I love that brother I wanted to make sure it wasn't him," said Lonnie. "But it's sad. It's real sad."
"When things like this happen it's a little rough on a lot of us," said friend, Zebie. "The fact that this happened it's going to be on the back of my mind all day long I'm going to be extra careful."
These couriers say it's a risky job especially when drivers and even pedestrians are easily distracted with their cell phones and texting. But it's a job they love do to and wouldn't give up.
"Some people don't want to be confound to an office anymore and they prefer a different kind of work," explained Zebie. "There's a certain amount of freedom we get from this. You get to earn a living for your family and be outside."
Friends of Mugabo add that he was a teacher at a school in Adams Morgan, and a father to a one-year old-baby.