One year ago today, Dave Hawkinson of Fargo had been out on a long bike ride near Grandin, N.D., training for an upcoming Ironman.
A respected and well-liked person, and a talented athlete, so many lives changed that morning when a distracted driver speeding on a rural road near crashed into him. The man responsible for the crash killing Dave received a 5-year sentence, with six months in jail and the remainder suspended. This video recalls a gathering on behalf of Dave.
Today, people celebrate his impact on their lives and offer a touching tribute by being active, taking a photo with a special bib dedicated in his honor, and vowing to increase awareness about distracted driving.
We all play a role in making the roads safe and it’s painfully obvious that distracted driving is deadly. As I’ve written before, so many drivers are more focused on their phones than the road ahead.
Nine days after Dave’s tragic death, in Minnesota’s rural Rock County, distracted driving also killed Andrea Boeve while she was cycling with her daughters in tow. Several weeks ago, the Minnesota State Patrol released an emotional video, Shattered Dreams: Distracted Driving Changes Lives, to show how lives can change due to poor driving decisions.
Last August, another gifted triathlete was killed while cycling. Friends and family mourn the death of Lisa Knudson, who was the driving force 10 years ago behind establishing the Dave Kvidt Duathlon in Grand Forks. A touching tribute to Lisa at this year’s duathlon remains one of the lasting impressions of the event and the impact she had on many, many lives.
State laws forbid distracted driving. But stopping tragic collisions — runners and cyclists will always be vulnerable when sharing space with cars and trucks — starts with a commitment to adhere to those laws and accepting responsibility to make our roads safe for everyone.