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Vermont Cyclists To Remember One Of Their Own

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Alex Keefe
/
VPR
Green Mountain Bicycle Club Vice President John Williams, right, and President Kevin Besset look on at a makeshift memorial at the site of a crash that killed fellow cyclist Richard Tom last weekend. The driver of the car that hit Tom was also killed.

On Sunday, cyclists from around Vermont are expected to go for a ride that one of their own never had the chance to complete.

Richard Tom, 47, was killed after getting hit by a car last Sunday morning in Hinesburg. The driver of the car – 17-year-old Joseph Marshall – was also killed.

This is the second fatal bike accident involving a car in just a few weeks in Vermont. Before that, there had only been one in the last decade.

On Friday, VPR’s Alex Keefe visited the crash site where an impromptu memorial has sprung up for Tom and Marshall. Kevin Besset, president of the Green Mountain Bicycle Club, and John Williams, the group’s vice president, joined him. They both knew Tom and considered him a friend.

“The few rides that I did with him when I first started doing group rides, he was coaching me. I knew very little about cycling in a group, so that was pretty awesome,” says Williams. “Interestingly, I took him to dinner less than two weeks before this happened, so that was pretty awesome that at least I was able to see him. I wanted to build on our friendship from there, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.”

"This memorial ride is being tagged as 'Richard's Ride.' It is about Richard, but at the same time, it's about getting these two populations together and grieve together and share stories." - Kevin Besset, president of the Green Mountain Bicycle Club

The bike club is hosting a memorial ride for Tom and Marshall on Sunday at 11 a.m., starting at Champlain Valley Union High School. “This memorial ride is being tagged as ‘Richard’s Ride.’ It is about Richard, but at the same time, it’s about getting these two populations together and grieve together and share stories,” says Bessett.

“I’ve never forgotten Richard and how much he meant to me,” says Williams. "I will miss him very much. So Richard, this is all for you.”

Learn more about the memorial ride here.

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