As a member of a bike club (I just recently joined) I received this message via email. I don't know the people involved, though. But the story is a sad commentary on a set of parents who have not taught their son any lessons in moral values, courtesy or care for others. It goes far, far beyond the "disregard drivers show for cyclists," as mentioned in the message:
Bob Walmsley, a member of the West Valley Bicycle Club died Tuesday as a result of injuries received after being struck by a truck during a weekend club ride.
While I wasn’t there and have only gotten the details second hand, here’s what happened as I understand the event: Bob and a small group of (helmeted, of course!) West Valley cyclists were riding on 99th Avenue, south of I-10. The road is a 2-lane “country” road. The group was riding single file in two slightly separated groups. A young man in a “jacked-up” pickup truck pulled out to pass a vehicle heading towards the riders. I don’t know if Bob was in the first group or the second group, however the first rider in Bob’s group had to move almost off the road and lean far to the right to avoid being struck by the pick-up’s driver side mirror. He heard the thud of the vehicle (or its mirror) strike Bob. The driver of the pick-up did not stop.
The driver that was being passed did stop, but at the urging of the other riders, pursued the truck and got a description and partial plate number. Bob was rushed to the hospital, unconscious. The police were, with the help of the description and partial plate, able to narrow down the vehicle to a couple of local trucks and ultimately identify the vehicle. Evidently, the young man driving the vehicle returned home and told his parents about the accident and they then proceeded to conceal the vehicle until police tracked it down. We have no more information from the police as it is now a criminal case.
Bob died on Tuesday within an hour of being taken off life support. Services will be held at 11:00 am, Tuesday April 17th at the Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 14818 W. Deer Valley Road in Sun City West.
Bob and his wife Peggy were long-time members of our club. Bob was an excellent rider and a willing volunteer for our club events. He and Peggy worked at rest stops on many of our major rides and Bob was always there to help us clean up our stretch of the Sun Valley Parkway. . Our deepest sympathies go out to Peggy and the family.
As you can understand, his fellow riders are devastated and we hope that the hit-and-run driver who struck Bob will be prosecuted.
Again, my disclaimer as to the exact facts of the incident, but I wanted to let those of you in the biking community know of Bob’s death. Whether or not you ever met Bob isn’t important; this is another example of the disregard drivers have for cyclists. The driver could have pulled back into his lane when he saw the oncoming cyclists instead of continuing to pass the other vehicle.
In the coming weeks, West Valley Bicycle Club members will gather to determine how best to remember Bob.
On behalf of Peggy, thank you for your thoughts and prayers for Bob and his family.
West Valley Bicycle Club"
Back to my soapbox: They "hope the driver will be prosecuted"??? Why not hanged in the public square? Throw the book at him AND his terrible parents! I sincerely hope they all serve prison time and it is well publicized.