Monday 9th May 2022 – Mike Smith
Source: original article – Xàbia AL DÍA
On May 7th 2017, the heart of Xàbia stopped beating for a few days. The municipality woke up to the tragic news of a fatal accident on the N-332 road in Oliva. Two local cyclists, José Luis Contreras and Edu Monfort, lost their lives on the side of that road. A third, José Albi, died later in hospital. Scott Gordon and Andrés Contreras, survivors of the accident, suffered months of surgery in their slow recovery from the major physical damage caused by the impact. Jaime Escortell had better luck, but his psychic damage is indelible.
Five years later, Club d’Atletisme Llebeig has produced a hard and emotional video entitled “No oblidem” – “We don’t forget”. Contributions from friends, family, as well as survivors Escortell, Contreras and Gordon, remember as much as they can about how the tragedy happened and the kindest of the three athletes highlighting their love for the sport and their esteem for the local triathlon event, Tri Xàbia, which now bears the name of Edu Monfort, whilst the Volta a Peu a Xàbia has been named in memory of José Albi. They were their races.
The aim of the documentary is not to remove a wound that reopens every May but to pay tribute to the three athletes who died in that fateful event as well as launch a strong message of public awareness.
“Cyclists are not a bundle that goes down the road and bothers cars. They are people who have family, children or parents. They are people who are doing sports”, explains Escortell.
On the road, there are many vehicles of different types and driven by all kinds of people who find themselves in different personal situations. Despite this amalgamation, the common denominator that must prevail and be established is that of empathy. An empathy marked by respect and, above all, caution. Especially with those whose vulnerability is greater.