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Ghost Bike Memorial To Remember Local Cyclist

August 19, 2010, 4:56 PM by Molly Miles

Ghost Bike Memorial To Remember Local Cyclist
SIOUX FALLS, SD - Prosecutors say 42-year-old David Julius Bendt was under the influence of prescription medications and alcohol when he crashed his pickup into biker Kevin Rogers. Bendt told investigators he "blacked-out" just before the crash.

In the wake of Wednesday’s fatal accident, some local cyclists are putting up an unconventional memorial. 

It used to be a regular black bike, but with each coat of white paint, this old frame is becoming something more.

“A ghost bike is a bike that is placed at a scene of an accident where a cyclist has died.  It's placed there as a reminder for those that pass by that someone did lose their life and wasn't able to live their life to the fullest,” Spoke-N-Sport Owner Chad Pickard said.

Even before they knew the victim's name, local cyclists decided to pay their respects to the man killed in Wednesday night's crash. And this is the best way they knew how.

The bike will be chained to a pole or sign near the intersection of 57th Street and Galway Avenue, where the accident took place.

On the white bike, you'll also find a sign reminding people why it's there.

“Maybe pause for a second and realize that our actions do have consequences,” Pickard said.

Pickard hopes the ghost bike honors the victim.

“Just maybe take a second and think about, certainly, the families involved,” Pickard said.

But he also wants it to serve as a reminder to drivers to be aware of everyone who shares the road.

“Just taking a second and realizing there are others around you, I mean that is really important, and we hope when people see this, they will think about that,” Pickard said.

It will be a somber reminder and a symbol that could potentially save lives.

The ghost bike was donated by the Center of Hope. It will be placed near the scene of the crash Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. The short memorial service will be open to the public.

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