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Ghost bike memorial installed in SLO honoring Kennedy Love

A ghost bike memorial was installed Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 in San Luis Obispo as a tribute to Kennedy Love, a Cal Poly student was killed by a suspected drunk driver while riding his bicycle.
A ghost bike memorial was installed Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 in San Luis Obispo as a tribute to Kennedy Love, a Cal Poly student was killed by a suspected drunk driver while riding his bicycle. lclark@thetribunenews.com

A ghost bike was installed Saturday on Foothill Boulevard near Ferrini Road in San Luis Obispo as a tribute to Kennedy Love, the 22-year-old Cal Poly student who was struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver while riding his bicycle.

Installation of the ghost bike was organized by local nonprofit Bike SLO County and coordinated with the City of San Luis Obispo.

The ghost bike — a bicycle painted all white and locked to a street sign near the crash site — serves as a reminder of the tragedy that took place on an otherwise anonymous street corner, a release from Bike SLO County said.

The first ghost bike was reportedly created in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2003, and more than 630 ghost bikes have since appeared in more than 210 locations around the world.

“Every time these avoidable crashes occur the entire community, people who bike, people who drive, pedestrians, everyone, feels the same frustration and sadness,” Bike SLO County Executive Director Mike Bennett said in the release. “It’s tragic and unacceptable to see yet another young person, Kennedy Love, lose the promising life he had ahead of him because someone decided to drink and drive.”

The memorial is expected to remain at the site for an initial period of two months, at which point the City of San Luis Obispo will review the permit and any impacts on the area.

Love, a landscape architecture student, died from injuries sustained in the crash Tuesday night, while the 17-year-old female suspect allegedly drove away from the scene.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office will seek to try the girl as an adult.

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