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'Ghost Bike' marks deep loss felt after fatal car accident

It was about this time last month that we ran a post on the tragic car-bicycle accident that left a 49-year-old Colorado man brain dead. The man has since been declared dead, but his memory lives on in a way that is both touching and heart rending. Friends of the man have erected what amounts to an ad hoc monument. It takes the form of a bicycle painted white and marked with a small plaque.

The fatal car accident took place in late September. As we noted at that time, the 49-year-old bicyclist was out for one of his regular rides when he was struck by a car in Cañon City. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene, leaving the cyclist with severe brain injuries from which he never recovered.

Police, with the help of the public, eventually managed to locate and arrest a suspect in the case. The 35-year-old Cañon City woman has since been charged with vehicular homicide and hit-and-run causing death. She's free on bond pending trial.

The Ghost Bike memorial is an expression of remorse and remembrance that shows that as essential as the pursuit of criminal justice is to us, it sometimes is not enough. The Ghost Bike phenomenon is one that got its start in St. Louis in 2003. Since then, according to the ghostbikes.org website, there are more than 500 such memorials in various locations around the world.

There is still no word as to whether any of the remedies that might be available through filing a civil suit have been pursued by those who knew and loved the victim of the Cañon City tragedy. What is clear is that more than a few people have been affected by the loss. They say that in addition to the ghost bike being a memorial to the victim in this case, the display should remind motorists across Colorado that they need to be aware of bicyclists sharing the road.

Source: Cañon City Daily Record, "A Standing Tribute: Memorial honors life of Kyle Keefe, victim of fatal hit-and-run accident," Rachel Alexander, Oct. 30, 2012

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