Letter to the Editor

A preventable tragedy

Los OsosSeptember 16, 2013 

Last week’s tragedy that killed cyclist Alan Stephens and injured Brad Cummins was senseless, preventable and so wrong! The driver, suspected of driving under the influence and driving at a high rate of speed, veered into the bike lane, causing the horrific accident.

Alan, a retired high school teacher, admired by students and peers alike, was finishing a 50-mile ride and returning to Los Osos so he and his wife, Carol Ann, could celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary.

Former students have written about his effectiveness as a teacher and coach, and how he transformed their lives. One credits him for her qualifying for the Olympics and putting her on a path to earn a PhD.

Within a day, a white “ghost bike” appeared next to the road where Alan died. Apart from being lovely gesture, it's a poignant reminder to passing motorists to share the road.

To the people who set up the “ghost bike”: Carol Ann is greatly appreciative and would like to say "thank you." Your efforts have created a fitting memorial to a gentle, kind man who rode over 10,000 miles last year, and is a dramatic visual reminder to all of us to drive carefully and sober.

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